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
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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