Brown University Eyes Angell Street For Demolition
Last year the insatiable Brownzilla stripped Brooks Street of its architectural character; now it has Angell Street in its sites. According to the Facebook page “Save the UEL” Brown intends to raze the Urban Environmental Laboratory (UEL), and its community gardens, located on Angell Street between Thayer and Brown Streets. According the petition at that site:
The Urban Environmental Laboratory (UEL, 135 Angell St.) is the undergraduate home of the environmental studies/sciences program.
It is slated to be demolished to make room for a new performing arts center. Also to be demolished are 127 and 129 Angell, 86 Waterman, Norwood, and the JWW parking lot.
We are a group of concerned students, professors, and community members who believe the UEL serves an important role on campus, with functions extending far beyond the academic.
If you want to save the UEL, please add your name to this petition. Afterward, there is a survey where you can share your thoughts and suggestions.
Please forward this to anyone you know who has a connection to the building!
As to the properties at 127/129 Angell Street, they had been placed on the Providence Preservation Society’s Most Endangered Properties List back in 2008, but a note indicates that Brown’s original plans for the site had changed and the wrecking crew was standing down.
In 2009 Brown announced a change of plans. Although it was still planning on constructing a new Mind, Brain and Behavior center it no longer wanted to do so on Angell Street. Instead of destroying or relocating these properties Brown has repurposed them, making them safe from any future plans.
Clare Steinman of The Brown Daily Herald writes,
Built in 1884 as a carriage house designed by the architect of Sayles Hall, the building was later used as a home, a Pembroke dorm and a garage before it was purchased by Brown in 1966 and given to the environmental studies department’s founding in 1978. The building was renovated by students into one of the very first “green” buildings in the world, heated almost entirely by convection from the greenhouse.
. . . The performing arts are a valuable part of Brown, and I don’t want to discredit them. But even Brown’s own promotional material makes it unclear what distinguishes this new, state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary performing arts center from our other new, state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary performing arts center just across the street from the UEL: the Granoff Center, which opened just six years ago.
With the recent architectural depredations up and down Brooks Street, Brown University seems determined to erase the very streetscape that makes the neighborhood so attractive to the faculty and the students and their families.
(Jeez, is there a view so beautiful that it can’t be ruined by that damn Sci-Li building? However, this picture does provide a useful juxtaposition for the purposes of this discussion.)