It's not all planting trees, pouring sidewalks and paving reclaimed streets in the Jewelry District. The 195 Redevelopment District Commission has begun installing sculptures at entry points to the District and along I-195 on the East Side. The works were selected by the Commission to provide interim features in the vacant land while it awaits the first developers' buildings. The works offer artists' individual concepts for ways to look at nature, the area and its past.
I Walk, Therefore I Dream
Sophia Sobers, a recent graduate of RISD, devised I Walk, Therefore I Dream. The project draws inspiration from nature, incorporating ornamental grass, hanging plants, solar cells and LED lights. Location: Parcel 34, at the intersection of Bassett and East Franklin.
The Gazing Garden
The Gazing Garden is the creation of Adam Anderson, a dual Brown and RISD alumnus. The installation features mirrored aluminum spheres that reflect their surroundings in interesting and engaging ways. Location: Parcel 41, at East Franklin and Friendship.
Amethyst Rising was created by Topher Gent, a RISD alumnus and Rhode Island native. The work references faceted gemstones and harkens to the industrial history of the Jewelry District. Location: Parcel 37, at the intersection of Point and East Franklin.
Somewhat related sidenote: Look closely at the earth on which Amethyst Rising is placed. Yes! That's grass planting medium, the first sign that clover and grass will soon be spreading its cool, dust-settling green on Parcel 37.
Iway City Streets West
Richmond Street, between Ship and Friendship Streets, remains closed for utility work. Please follow signed detour.
Ongoing Construction Anticipate narrowing of city streets project-wide Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dyer Street (between Ship and Friendship Streets), and Friendship Street and Chestnut St (between Friendship and Clifford Streets) will be narrowed for utility construction. We will continue to install new electrical conduit on Richmond Street and drainage on Dyer and Richmond Streets. We'll also continue with project-wide pavement removal and curb and sidewalk installation. We anticipate that we'll also grade and replace pavement along sections of Friendship, Richmond and Chestnut Streets.
Iway City Streets East
We'll have one lane of travel on South Main Street, from Wickenden to James Streets, for utility work, Monday-Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day. Anticipate narrowed lanes on South Main, South Water and Wickenden Streets and a single-lane closure on South Main and Wickenden Streets Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will finish our gas line work on South Main Street. We will also be excavating on Wickenden Street for new drainage lines, signal foundations and electrical conduit. New concrete sidewalks will be installed on South Main and South Water Streets.
It's pouring sidewalks in the Jewelry District.
In keeping with today's landscaping standards, the sidewalks come with what look like oversize tree cuts. This week tree-planting crews began filling the holes with nice-sized saplings.
Up along East Franklin St. (highway parlance would have called it Service Road X in days gone by) pairs of Hornbeam and Cherry have recently been planted. Not just along the sidewalks, but in the berms and down the embankments along the edge of I-95.
Now the tree planters are moving down the upper restored sections of Clifford (at right) and Friendship. We assume that the tree cuts in the walks down the "hill", below Chestnut, will be leafing out soon, as well.
And, come Spring 2015, the District will show off with its own display of cherry blossoms.
Writing in the New England Real Estate Journal, I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Executive Director Jan Brodie points out some of the many advantages offered developers considering projects in the Jewelry District.
Providence ranked "most exciting mid-sized city"
This past month, Providence has been gathering an extraordinary collection of rankings that reflect its quality of life and livability. It has been ranked the "Most Exciting mid-sized City" by Movoto.com, which recognized Providence's youthfulness, live music, nightlife, restaurants and outdoor activities. Livability.com ranked Rhode Island's capital as the "#2 Best Downtown" in the nation, and Travel and Leisure deemed the Providence the "4th Best Hipster City" in the U.S.
Pretty impressive stuff for the capital city in the country's smallest state.
The rankings speak to one of The LINK's great strengths. Nineteen acres in Providence's downtown, 8 acres of new parks, and a cool urban environment all attract people, especially young professionals, who want to live and work here...
New England Real Estate Journal, April 11-17 2014. Read the entire article here.
Good parks are good for the economy - The LINK
Imagine relaxing in the middle of the city in a verdant park, smiling at the spring colors, watching students throw frisbees, or see an artist's sketch emerge on their pad. Maybe you are taking a lunch break from work, or visiting one of the many historic sites in Providence, or rushing from one campus to another across the canals that sparkle from east side to west. The park you are sitting in or walking through appeals to all senses and changes your experience from just getting there to enjoying your life in the city. I am describing the West Side Park in the middle of The LINK, a 5-acre park being built by RIDOT and ready to be enjoyed in spring 2016.
Well maintained, programmed city parks are as much a part of a thriving urban environment as access to transportation choices, workspaces, restaurants, housing and culture. The new urbanism of today means getting out of the car, and increasingly providing a community where one both lives and works. Walking to entertainments, meals and public parks are what young graduates are seeking. Increasingly companies are looking to attract new employees by locating in urban cores that are able to provide such amenities. Providence is walkable, bikeable, a restaurant capital, and has public parks in abundance. The new residents and workers in The LINK and the city overall will have 8 acres of new parkland to act as their backyard, their connection to nature, their lunchtime and evening entertainment.
New England Real Estate Journal, May 9-15, 2014. Read the entire article here.
Iway City Streets West, Providence
Richmond Street (see picture), between Ship and Friendship Streets, remains closed for utility work. Please follow signed detour.
Narrowing of city streets is anticipated project-wide weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dyer Street (between Ship and Friendship Streets), Point Street (between Eddy Street and I-95), Eddy Street (between Ship and Point Streets) and Chestnut Street (between Friendship and Clifford Streets) are narrowed for utility construction. New electrical conduit will be installed on Chestnut and Clifford Streets, while drainage will be installed along Dyer and Richmond Streets. Pavement removal is scheduled for sections of Friendship, Clifford, Richmond and Chestnut Streets. Curb and sidewalk installation is ongoing project-wide, and wheel-chair ramps are being installed along Eddy Street.
Iway City Streets East, Providence
On Saturday, we expect to have one lane open in each direction on South Water and Wickenden Streets for utility work from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Our weekly activities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday will include demolition and rebuilding of a manhole along Wickenden Street and also work on new gas lines on South Main Street. We'll be excavating on Wickenden Street for new drainage lines, signal foundations and electrical conduit. New concrete sidewalks will be placed on South Water and South Main Streets. Anticipate narrowed lanes on South Water, South Main and Wickenden Streets with a single-lane closure on South Main and Wickenden Streets.
Iway City Streets West, Providence
Richmond Street, between Ship and Friendship Streets, is still closed for utility work. Please follow signed detour.
We are working weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with narrowed lanes anticipated project-wide. Dyer Street (between Ship and Friendship Streets), Point Street (between Eddy Street and I-95), Eddy Street (between Ship and Point Streets) and Chestnut Street (between Friendship and Clifford Streets) will be narrowed for utility construction. We will be installing new electrical conduit on Chestnut and Clifford Streets, and drainage along Dyer and Richmond Streets. Pavement removal is scheduled for sections of Friendship, Clifford, Richmond and Chestnut Streets, with street lighting conduit installation ongoing project-wide. In addition, wheel chair ramps will be installed on Eddy Street.
Iway City Streets East, Providence
Anticipate narrowed lanes on South Main, South Water and Wickenden Streets, with a single-lane closure on South Main and Wickenden Streets weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Wickenden Street, we will be demolishing and rebuilding a manhole, excavating for new drainage and installing curbing. We also plan to place new concrete sidewalks on South Water and South Main Streets.
The 2014 street paving season is underway.
In case you missed the plan when the bond issue went to the voters, here's what's scheduled for the Jewelry District. Will it be this year or next? The map doesn't tell us. Nor are we sure what the hiccup is on Chestnut Street between Friendship & Clifford, nor why the cratered stretch between Clifford and Bassett isn't on the schedule. Click on the map for a larger view.
To see what $40,000,000 gets you
in macadam, click citywide map.
On Sunday May 4, Olin Thompson will be leading a Jane's Walk tour of the Jewelry District. It's part of the nationwide celebration of the work of Jane Jacobs, the celebrated champion for urban spaces as great places for people to live. Tour details here.
Walks are scheduled all over the city on Sunday. Go out, take a tour, enjoy a different neighborhood in Providence, one of America's most walkable cities.
For the full roster of sites and the tour leaders, see Jane's Walk website.
Iway City Streets West, Providence
It's not because of the major dust storms that sweep down from the West. But, RIDoT has issued an alert that Richmond Street, between Ship Street and Clifford Street, will close on Monday, April 28 for approximately seven days for utility work.
Follow signed detour.
The Jewelry District Association would like to thank all the volunteers and companies that supported the 2014 Earth Day Jewelry District Spring Clean Up today (Friday, the 25th). The Jewelry District neighborhood certainly looks improved by the volunteers' efforts.
Special mention goes to Brown University Facilities Management, Cushman & Wakefield, Lifespan Property Management, Site Specific, Johnson & Wales students, 195 Commission Staff, Partnership for Providence Parks.
Many hands pitched in... literally... loading trash for hauling away.
The event was particularly successful due to Brown University’s providing an arborist to assess what care the trees needed. Brown also supplied a front loader, a pick-up truck, a large dump truck and a major supply of bark mulch.
Credit is also due to JDA Board Member Ken Orenstein who led project coordination supported by JDA Board Member Tom Donovan and Patrick Vetere from Brown University Facilities.
For the record – and we're sure it is a record – the 2014 Earth Day Spring Clean Up:
Pruned more than 60 street trees.
Cleaned, weeded and mulched uncounted tree wells.
Hauled away more than two tons of debris, rubbish, tree pruning, weeds etc.
Spread more than 10 cubic yards of mulch
Reporting and photographing for the JDA: Tom Donovan. General Manager – New England Region, Investor Services.