Funeral For Fogarty Building

(3.17) Could there be a more fitting metaphor for the dismantling of the Fogarty legacy than the actual demolition of the John E. Fogarty Memorial Building? The loss of this Brutalist icon will be noted today with a funeral starting at 4pm. (Facebook event page.)

We’ll gather at 100 Fountain St. where brief eulogies will be delivered by those who knew the Fogarty best, including historian Ned Connors, architectural critic David Brussat, and Jana Planka, the daughter of one of the Fogarty’s lead architects (designed by the firm Castellucci, Galli & Planka Associates). We will welcome brief statements from others in the community, should anyone feel so moved.

The loss of the building may be sad to some, but much worse is happening down in Washington where 45’s proposed budget takes dead aim at the legacies of two R.I. legislators, Senator Claiborne Pell (NEA, NCA) and Congressman John E. Fogarty known as “Mr. Public Health.” Andy Smith writes in today’s ProJo.

Trump’s budget would also kill the John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences, at the National Institutes of Health, which is named for the late Rhode Island congressman.

. . . Mary Fogarty McAndrew, John E. Fogarty’s daughter, said her father advocated for cooperation in international health research long before terms like globalization became popular. But it wasn’t until after his death from a heart attack in 1967 that the center that bears his name was created.

McAndrew said global health crises such as Ebola and the Zika virus should prove the importance of the Fogarty Center, which supports global health research.

“We’re all very proud the center is named after my dad, but it’s the work that’s most important,” she said. “That’s what would upset him. He really dedicated his life to this cause.”

The event, free and open to the public, is the work of Doors Open Rhode Island, Providence Preservation Society and John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage.

Our recommendation: Following the ceremony, mourners should cross the street and hoist a few girders to the memory of John E. Fogarty . . . Mr. Public Health.

Funeral for Fogarty Building, 4pm to 5pm, Friday, March 17, 100 Fountain Street, (directions)


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