Crook Point Proposals — Five Finalists

With an affectionate nod to RISD alums, Talking Heads, local design firm Ultramoderne have named their fanciful Crook Point proposal, “Take Me to the River.” Four other firms have also succeeded to the final round and will receive $1,000 to continue. The city has released the work of the five finalists and are seeking public comment. Go to the city’s Crook Point Bascule Bridge page to see the submissions and put in your two cents. Deadline for comments is 11:59pm, Tuesday, April 6th.

Keep in mind, this is all non-binding.

This competition is sponsored by the Providence Redevelopment Agency. The structure is owned by the Rhode Island Public Rail Corporation. Neither the Rhode Island Public Rail Corporation, nor the Rhode Island Department of Transportation are involved in this design competition. This competition is designed to generate creative ideas for the future reuse of the structure.

The bascule has been stuck in the open position since 1976 and has become a beloved landscape icon (see tee shirt below) and the inevitable destination for teens and taggers. So when the state announced last year that it was setting aside $5 million for its demolition, Mayor Elorza launched this design challenge to see if the bascule could be adapted and saved somehow. From today’s ProJo:

All of the finalist designs would convert the old railroad trestle into a pedestrian bridge.

They would also build a park in the land between the bridge and the mouth of the old East Side rail tunnel near Gano Street.

And, per the rules of the contest, they would all keep the bridge span in its current airborne position.

There is a lot of undeveloped land around the mouth of that old East Side tunnel under Gano Street. I’m kind of torn: This property could be a swell addition to the bike path and riverfront area; on the other hand, we need these wild spaces where city kids can poke around.


This picture is taken last year from the bike path (accessible from behind East Side Market or Power Street at Gano).

We just like this thing.

2 thoughts on “Crook Point Proposals — Five Finalists”

  1. Lois Christopher

    Which proposal would be the least expensive to maintain? Who pays the lighting bills? Which would look best covered with eventual graffiti? Most concerning: does the author of this piece article, Ms. Comery, not know that “Take Me to the River” is an Al Green song (albeit covered blandly by Talking Heads)?

  2. Instead of spending money to create a new park, I’d rather see the City of Providence spend their parks budget money on better maintenance of the many, many parks that we already have. Just one example: the Japanese Garden at Roger Williams Park. For two years there have been ugly old unused pipes sticking up from the surface of one of the ponds. And most recently, some trees were removed and the unsightly stumps were left. When all the Providence City parks are looking good, it will be time to consider creating – and maintaining – a new park. It’s always exciting, and noteworthy, to plan a new park. But the necessary ongoing maintenance of a park is a long haul commitment that should be budgeted and factored in to any such plan.

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