Hearing On Fane Tower — Public Comment This Time!

(4.8) [Update in ProJo: “Design panel: Reject Fane tower”] Objection over the proposed Hope Point Tower reaches a critical review on Monday, April 8, and this is your chance to speak up. There will be public comment!

The Providence Preservation Society (PPS)* has been in the forefront of this battle:

One year ago, the Fane Organization petitioned the City Plan Commission (CPC)  for changes to the Providence zoning ordinance and zoning map to allow for a 600′ tower to be built in a 100′ district. The CPC voted to deny this request, followed by a denial by the City Council’s Committee on Ordinances. City Council’s override of a mayoral veto occurred in December and the project moved forward.

Now, the tower proposal goes before the Downtown Design Review Committee (DDRC), acting in an advisory capacity to the I-195 Redevelopment District, for conceptual design review.  There will be public comment.

If you can’t make the meeting, you can still make your feelings known at: cise@providenceri.gov.

David Brusatt writes at Architecture Here and There that the CPC should deny all four waivers requested by Fane:

Broadly speaking, the quality of life here in Providence is high because the city retains so much of its historical character. Most of the city was built before architectural and planning practices in the 1950s shifted aesthetic priorities away from beauty and toward utility. These goals are not mutually exclusive but are treated as if they were. Unlike most other cities, Providence did not demolish most of its historic buildings to make way for “progress,” and that’s why it has so much character and heritage to protect.

Adding . . .

At some point the city will reach a point of no return, and will lose its beauty – one of its rare advantages in economic competition with other mid-sized cities.

YES! Providence is different. When competing for outside investment, this sets us apart. One learns how unique our city is when visiting other old east coast cities and discovering that there are only a couple of blocks considered the “historic” part of town. Having largely escaped the urban renewal craze of the 50s and 60s, our inventory of older and architecturally interesting real estate is a marvel. Out-of-town visitors to Providence comment on this all the time.

I worked retail on Thayer Street and parents who were looking into colleges with their kids made mention of the agreeable scale of the city all the time.

(We wrote up the March hearing here. And the disingenuous maneuvering of the City Council last fall here.)

*PPS is supporting a lawsuit brought by Building Bridges to challenge the blatant violation of the Comprehensive Plan.

4:45pm, Monday, April 8, 444 Westminster Street, (directions)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose