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The engineering has already been completed and ready to go. It seems like the city wants to resolve LaSalle and Emett Squares first (undeniably easier projects). My sources tell me the planning department is up against the wall...asbolutely overwhelmed and understaffed to handle what is unprecedented activity for Providence.

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Yes, when this anti piece comes out, I'll write something. Everyone else should too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As someone who has actually READ this OpEd piece, I think it might be a good idea to wait and see what the OpEd says before making a blanket statement of opposition to it....

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As someone who has actually READ this OpEd piece, I think it might be a good idea to wait and see what the OpEd says before making a blanket statement of opposition to it....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

True, always good to see it first, but I'm thinking...

Why would I agree with height limits on buildings downtown?

Um, humm... Well, I guess... No... Not quite... Uh...

Nope! I can't see any reason to oppose taller buildings downtown. That's going to have to be one hell of an editorial to dent my predilections...

Let's see, taller buildings, when done right (preparing for my response):

1) Are an undeniable measure of civic pride and success...

2) In a dense area, they are more environmentally friendly...

3) They increase the return on a developer's property investment...

4) They create views, not just block them (look how much houses with skyline views go for on Benefit vs those without... I don't know anyone killing for skyline views of White Plains, Stamford, or Trenton (cities of size without much in the way of skylines)...

5) They increase the number of people living or working in an area, which itself is healthy for the local economy and retail...

6) In a city with such a reputation for already having a lot of barriers to building, why add such a clearly artificial additional barrier?

7) In the end, Providence is New England second largest city... That's city. For people desiring small, quaint municipalities where the trees and birds are all that's above their heads (including around the highways!), then may I recommend Bristol, Barrington, West Warwick, Cranston, East Providence, East Greenwich, North Kingston, Westerly, Newport, or virtually any other place in the entire state of RI, since Providence is our only skyscraper city.

There have been tall buildings here for over a century. Why on Earth would we want to limit that now? What is the sudden, critical imperative for this? How many of the people in these well meaning groups actually live in the downtown area affected, or even in the city proper?

With all the other problems Providence needs to address (schools, crime, cleanliness, job creation, taxes, roads, etc) this seems sooooo far down the list of issues, that for these groups to even bring it up seems to me like a mild form of collective civic self-mutiliation, if not full-on civic suicide.

- Garris

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The engineering has already been completed and ready to go.  It seems like the city wants to resolve LaSalle and Emett Squares first (undeniably easier projects).  My sources tell me the planning department is up against the wall...asbolutely overwhelmed and understaffed to handle what is unprecedented activity for Providence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Damn, too bad... Not that LaSalle and Emett Squares don't need attention, but that's like nibbling on the edge of the jelly donut without eating the center...

One would imagine that if they are somewhat overwhelmed, they'd turn all their resources towards singular, important, achievable projects rather than distracting themselves and dividing resources between lots of little issues, but what do I know... :whistling:

- Garris

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True, always good to see it first, but I'm thinking...

Why would I agree with height limits on buildings downtown?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If I remember correctly, it has no mention of a height limit downtown.

It takes exception more to the process of the zoning re-write than the actual provisions of the new zoning.

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True, always good to see it first, but I'm thinking...

Why would I agree with height limits on buildings downtown?

Um, humm...  Well, I guess... No...  Not quite...  Uh...

Nope!  I can't see any reason to oppose taller buildings downtown.  That's going to have to be one hell of an editorial to dent my predilections...

Let's see, taller buildings, when done right (preparing for my response):

1) Are an undeniable measure of civic pride and success... 

2) In a dense area, they are more environmentally friendly...

3) They increase the return on a developer's property investment...

4) They create views, not just block them (look how much houses with skyline views go for on Benefit vs those without...  I don't know anyone killing for skyline views of White Plains, Stamford, or Trenton (cities of size without much in the way of skylines)...

5) They increase the number of people living or working in an area, which itself is healthy for the local economy and retail...

6) In a city with such a reputation for already having a lot of barriers to building, why add such a clearly artificial additional barrier?

7) In the end, Providence is New England second largest city...  That's city.  For people desiring small, quaint municipalities where the trees and birds are all that's above their heads (including around the highways!), then may I recommend Bristol, Barrington, West Warwick, Cranston, East Providence, East Greenwich, North Kingston, Westerly, Newport, or virtually any other place in the entire state of RI, since Providence is our only skyscraper city

There have been tall buildings here for over a century.  Why on Earth would we want to limit that now?  What is the sudden, critical imperative for this?  How many of the people in these well meaning groups actually live in the downtown area affected, or even in the city proper?

With all the other problems Providence needs to address (schools, crime, cleanliness, job creation, taxes, roads, etc) this seems sooooo far down the list of issues, that for these groups to even bring it up seems to me like a mild form of collective civic self-mutiliation, if not full-on civic suicide.

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with you to a large degree, except that I really don't want Providence to overindulge in skyscrapers (something I don't think will happen, anyway) One of the reasons people like the city is because of its urbanness without the hassle. It's one of the very few urban cities that is metropolitan, has culture, arts, entertainment, and local flavor, without being claustrophobic. I like its small, yet very distinct skyline, and I don't want to lose it by having a glut in skyscrapers.

I think the biggest thing Providence has going for it is its densely-packed skyline. You can fill a 8x6 photo with the skyline without too much wasted space. I see the skyline as it stands now (minus the Westin) as almost a single entity. 110 Westminster will give that entity a 520 foot spire that I think will really make it more complete. I would welcome a 600+ skyscraper on the same block if it looks good enough.

With that being said, I think the development that is going on is nothing but a good thing for Providence, and I welcome it with open arms, and I am excited at the projects going on, especially the new Westin and 110 Westminster.

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"poor taste??" "skyscraper wars??" Wow. Are you kidding me??

No worries... the offensive post is now gone....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think Ari was saying HIS post was in poor taste, though I agree 100% with what he said.

Also, reporting from Washington D.C. right now...having NO buildings taller than 9-10 stories definitely does not prevent D.C. from being a FANTASTIC city. wow.

Height REALLY does not matter...

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I think Ari was saying HIS post was in poor taste, though I agree 100% with what he said.

Also, reporting from Washington D.C. right now...having NO buildings taller than 9-10 stories definitely does not prevent D.C. from being a FANTASTIC city. wow.

Height REALLY does not matter...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've always wondered why that was. Maybe because of the flight paths of planes flying into Washington National Airport. Opps! Excuse me! Regan National Airport. But I do like the federal style buildings in DC.

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It's because buildings can't be taller than the Capitol Rotunda.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You know what? Washington D.C. has just never done it for me... Great tourist city, nice subway, some wonderful surrounding neighborhoods (I love Georgetown), gorgeous train station, individually nice buildings, but center D.C. just doesn't get my pulse up one bit.

I actually do feel the lack of tall buildings hurts it somewhat, and makes it feel slightly less hard core urban (with its wide streets and bvds). And much of D.C. not involved in the tourism industry is just completely dead after work hours and on the weekends.

I've been there a a number of times, and most recently there several months ago. When there at that time for a wedding, I walked from their train station to a beautiful hotel I was staying at right in the heart of everything, and I maybe passed 1 or 2 people on the entire walk there on Saturday afternoon and a few more walking back the next day on Sunday. Try to find someplace for lunch on the weekend in the center of the city...

This is why I do think tall building do have a role to play in cities. It does kick up the urbanism a notch.

- Garris

Edited by Garris
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You know what?  Washington D.C. has just never done it for me...  Great tourist city, nice subway, some wonderful surrounding neighborhoods (I love Georgetown), gorgeous train station, individually nice buildings, but center D.C. just doesn't get my pulse up one bit. 

I actually do feel the lack of tall buildings hurts it somewhat, and makes it feel slightly less hard core urban (with its wide streets and bvds).  And much of D.C. not involved in the tourism industry is just completely dead after work hours and on the weekends. 

I've been there a a number of times, and most recently there several months ago.  When there at that time for a wedding, I walked from their train station to a beautiful hotel I was staying at right in the heart of everything, and I maybe passed 1 or 2 people on the entire walk there on Saturday afternoon and a few more walking back the next day on Sunday.  Try to find someplace for lunch on the weekend in the center of the city... 

This is why I do think tall building do have a role to play in cities.  It does kick up the urbanism a notch.

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I disagree with this...

I don't think height of the buildings really kicks up the urbanism at all. Just like any central business district in any city, if there is nobody living there, it will be deserted at night and on the weekends. For years, the Loop in Chicago, has been deserted at night and the weekend, as has Lower Manhattan, and those are the tallest of the tall. Its really USE (and relative density), not height that makes it lively and "urban".

Plus, there are dozens of cosmopolitan cities in the world that are not generally "tall" but are indisputable dense and "urban" - Rome, Paris, Edinborough, Barcelona, Buenos Aries (and many more) all say hi...

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I disagree with this...

I don't think height of the buildings really kicks up the urbanism at all. Just like any central business district in any city, if there is nobody living there, it will be deserted at night and on the weekends. For years, the Loop in Chicago, has been deserted at night and the weekend, as has Lower Manhattan, and those are the tallest of the tall. Its really USE (and relative density), not height that makes it lively and "urban".

Plus, there are dozens of cosmopolitan cities in the world that are not generally "tall" but are indisputable dense and "urban" - Rome, Paris, Edinborough, Barcelona, Buenos Aries (and many more) all say hi...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with you in regards to newer cities - ie, western ones like Phoenix - but not to the northeastern 200-300 year old dense and crowded ones like Providence. Skyline is a major almost 4th dimension.

You do make excellent point citing Rome and Paris - but the Italians, for example, do not need tall buildings to live a vibrant and healthy life.

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True, always good to see it first, but I'm thinking...

Why would I agree with height limits on buildings downtown?

Um, humm...  Well, I guess... No...  Not quite...  Uh...

Nope!  I can't see any reason to oppose taller buildings downtown.  That's going to have to be one hell of an editorial to dent my predilections...

Let's see, taller buildings, when done right (preparing for my response):

1) Are an undeniable measure of civic pride and success... 

2) In a dense area, they are more environmentally friendly...

3) They increase the return on a developer's property investment...

4) They create views, not just block them (look how much houses with skyline views go for on Benefit vs those without...  I don't know anyone killing for skyline views of White Plains, Stamford, or Trenton (cities of size without much in the way of skylines)...

5) They increase the number of people living or working in an area, which itself is healthy for the local economy and retail...

6) In a city with such a reputation for already having a lot of barriers to building, why add such a clearly artificial additional barrier?

7) In the end, Providence is New England second largest city...  That's city.  For people desiring small, quaint municipalities where the trees and birds are all that's above their heads (including around the highways!), then may I recommend Bristol, Barrington, West Warwick, Cranston, East Providence, East Greenwich, North Kingston, Westerly, Newport, or virtually any other place in the entire state of RI, since Providence is our only skyscraper city

There have been tall buildings here for over a century.  Why on Earth would we want to limit that now?  What is the sudden, critical imperative for this?  How many of the people in these well meaning groups actually live in the downtown area affected, or even in the city proper?

With all the other problems Providence needs to address (schools, crime, cleanliness, job creation, taxes, roads, etc) this seems sooooo far down the list of issues, that for these groups to even bring it up seems to me like a mild form of collective civic self-mutiliation, if not full-on civic suicide.

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here, here!!!! Totally agree. That is the core of it all.

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