But the credit has to be shared with residents from all over town, neighborhood associations, business interests, all the people who wrote statements or spoke out against the plan to the Commission; who sent letters to the press; who sat patiently through the longest zoning hearings in memory.
It was a great outpouring of public caring about the sense of place that captivates visitors to Providence and makes it a great place to live and work.
For the moment, a terrific victory.
Next step: making sure that the City Council hears and understands why a structure of that height and mass is such a bad idea for that specific site. Write your Council representative, or get on the phone. Convince your friends to do the same. The Council can still allow the tower to go ahead... unless you and we prove that putting that huge monolith in that specific location is the worst thing to happen to Providence since, oh, well, maybe... the closing of the Superman Building.
Many people have no objection to the design, per se. It's just the idea of a lone building (or, heaven forbid, a trio of towers) soaring isolated and domineering 500 feet above every other building in that area. The sheer idea of a thing so colossally out of scale to its surroundings, its neighboring buildings and a public park is a perversion of the much bandied about word "icon". As Planning Commission Chair Christine West (quoted in the Providence Journal) said, the proposal “takes public park land and turns its back on the park,” using the public land “for the private use of residents of this tower.”
Let Mr. Fane build a tower at 44 Westminster Street where a parking lot blights the Financial District. Or have him take a look at the parking lot at Empire and Washington where Police Headquarters used to be. Shovel-ready sites that have been crying out for just this sort of development for years.
For the article in the Providence Journal, May 15, 2018, kindly CLICK HERE.
For coverage from Go Local Prov and video of the hearing, please CLICK HERE.