Distinctive Downtown Buildings in Providence Faces Certain Demolition

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Distinctive Downtown Buildings in Providence Faces Certain Demolition
The Fogarty building in downtown Providence

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Distinctive Downtown Buildings in Providence Faces Certain Demolition
The Fogarty building in downtown Providence

Providence is moving forward on a plan to demolish the Fogarty Building, a 1960s structure that some architects see as an example of Brutalist architecture — one of few in the city. The building is likely to be torn down to make way for a hotel.

The Fogarty Building stands out on a windy corridor in downtown Providence. A concrete box across from the convention center, its two top floors sit on pillars above an open porch. The building’s hard, clean lines and squared-off shapes reflect what’s known as Brutalist architecture. It’s a style that hasn’t aged well according to RISD architecture professor Christopher Bardt.

“Brick buildings, stone buildings, they absorb time, and become in a way steeped in history and memory,” said Bardt. “This building simply wears and it doesn’t take on history, and I think that’s one reason they’re tough buildings to appreciate.”

The Brutalist style became popular after World War II during era of robust social programs. The Fogarty Building used to house a public welfare office. […]

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