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IN PROGRESS: Armory Revival West Fountain Street

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The neighborhood association members have also expressed concerns about the size of the building; the materials to be used in construction; and the effect of the project on traffic in the neighborhood.

They should promise to hold aside a unit for me, I don't have a car, so I won't effect traffic. :D

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I am so psyched to see some real development happening in that area. It could become such a cool urban neighborhood, with great potential for some higher-density activity. I ,too, kind of think the WBNA is wrong on this one.

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Glad to see a thread added for this. As I stated previously in the West End forum, I really think the WBNA is wrong on this issue. They want to see the buildings preserved. Fine. But we should wait around for someone to do it and make it work, or should we move ahead on a real use for the space? One that will bring people living and shopping in that area?

I think the latter.

Also, the article mentioned Dryvit as a material that was objected to. I was not overly familiar with the material so I looked it up. Very interesting examples in the photo gallery of the buildings it is used for including one in Providence..

http://www.dryvit.com/photo.asp?category=4...y_id=1ℑ=66

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Might dryvit be what is being used to reclad the Holiday Inn. Looks similar to some of those buildings.

As for the Providence example, Westminster Square isn't exactly the best building in the city, but for some reason, there is something I like about it. It appears that dryvit can be better used than it has been at Westminster Square however.

Does Armory Revival have a website? And does anyone have any leads on getting some copies of these renderings?

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Might dryvit be what is being used to reclad the Holiday Inn. Looks similar to some of those buildings.

As for the Providence example, Westminster Square isn't exactly the best building in the city, but for some reason, there is something I like about it. It appears that dryvit can be better used than it has been at Westminster Square however.

Does Armory Revival have a website? And does anyone have any leads on getting some copies of these renderings?

No website. Durkee Brown is most likely the architect, but I doubt there are any renderings up there...

They generally do very nice work though.

Dryvit is alright, but can be deadly in the wrong hands. ick.

There also seems to be some very polarized views within the WBNA about this particular project. I suspect they'll stay neutral or eventually put up (perhaps reluctant) support eventually.

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No website. Durkee Brown is most likely the architect, but I doubt there are any renderings up there...

They generally do very nice work though.

Dryvit is alright, but can be deadly in the wrong hands. ick.

Well Durkee Brown would certainly be among the right hands. The material seems almost like stucco when done right it seems.

There also seems to be some very polarized views within the WBNA about this particular project. I suspect they'll stay neutral or eventually put up (perhaps reluctant) support eventually.

Rumors are flying of an official split. :unsure:

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If you want to see some examples of Dryvit check out Venda Ravioli and some of the other food places on Atwells. It has a styrofoamlike sublayer that can be cheaply cut out to have any shape and then is coated with a plasterlike compound. It's basically imitation stucco. Big box stores use it all the time as well as McMansion builders who use it to simulate fancy stonework.

Personally I think that it's usually unattractive and it seems to age poorly. IMHO, The Westminster Sq bldg was once a bland 50s era stone clad box and now it's an even blander 90s era Dryvit box. I would love to see it replaced with a 110 like building that would add to the skyline.

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Aging of the material is definitely something that concerns me.

What is the split on the WBNA about? Just this project, or a host of other issues? I am new to the Armory District and am curious. I joined the WBNA in the first week of moving here, but unfortunately travel a lot and never seem to be around when a meeting is going on.

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Dryvit was invented and is produced in Rhode Island.

It's pretty nasty IMHO.

Westminster Square is a regrettable building. It was recently sold...I hope it is reimagined again soon.

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Dryvit was invented and is produced in Rhode Island.

It's pretty nasty IMHO.

Westminster Square is a regrettable building. It was recently sold...I hope it is reimagined again soon.

Dryvit is nasty stuff. Many buildings in the Jewelry District that once had character have fallen victim to the Dryvit Empire, better known as Belvoir Properties.

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383WestFountainRendering001.jpg

Project Description: The project is a mixed-use, 6-story masonry building with 4 floors of residential condominiums, a lobby, basement and 1st floor parking and storefront commercial spaces along West Fountain Street. The new building would have 82 units, 8 of which are affordable with 109 parking spaces and approximately 8.000 sq. ft. of retail space. The proposed building at its tallest, the South and West facing faccades, is approximately 76

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I took some photos on West Fountain today. I'm all about historic preservation, but I gotta say I don't see what WBNA is getting all twisted about here. There's no there there.

I don't believe this is part of the project, but an example of the area. You can see the scenic Public Safety Building Garage in the background. You can also see the care taken with the ground floor facade here. :unsure: I'd love to see something done with this building, you can see it's for sale, but I won't be lying down infront of any bulldozers to save it if it ever came to that.

78597345_86a17ba666_o.jpg

This one, also for sale (my birthday is in February if anyone is looking for something to buy me), is across the street from the 383 W. Fountain site. Now we're entering the territory where I might consider lying in front of a bulldozer.

78597334_c33f1c2e7d_o.jpg

This is across the street from 383 also at the southwest corner of West Fountain and Winter. This one I might actually help to tear down given a remotely compelling building to replace it.

78597325_c59413a106_o.jpg

This is 383 West Fountain itself. You can see that at one time it was a nice building, but the last half of the 20th century was not kind. One could put a lot of money into restoring it. But dyvit or no, I'd rather see the rendering than this. There are more buildings to the right, but they were so unremarkable, I could not bring myself to photograph them.

78597309_0749cda190_o.jpg

The view via Local.Live

The side of the building.

78597299_04d2f822e4_o.jpg

I continued down West Fountain (you can see more photos here), and there was nothing but auto body shops (most with scary attack dogs barking at me) for the next several blocks. A few sad houses sitting in amongst them. It wasn't until almost Luongo Square that an actual neighbourhood started to make itself known, and a very nice neighbourhood at that. It is this no man's land of auto body shops and vacant buildings that seperates the West Side from Downcity, not the highway. Redevelop this area, and the reconnection will be made.

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The Zoning Board unanimously approved the height and dimensional variances for this project last night.

Supporters outnumbered detractors 2:1. The WBNA spoke against the project, but several former WBNA board members spoke in favor of it.

The City Plan Commission and the Historic District Commission both gave their unanimous approvals several months ago. The developers still need to close a gap in their financing, but this project is much closer to reality.

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I continued down West Fountain (you can see more photos here), and there was nothing but auto body shops (most with scary attack dogs barking at me) for the next several blocks. A few sad houses sitting in amongst them. It wasn't until almost Luongo Square that an actual neighbourhood started to make itself known, and a very nice neighbourhood at that. It is this no man's land of auto body shops and vacant buildings that seperates the West Side from Downcity, not the highway. Redevelop this area, and the reconnection will be made.

Overall, I agree with you, and I think the Armory proposal will be a plus for the area. I certainly don't mind the WBNA objection though. Its a common way to get an improved design and more community benefits out of a project.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Looks like its full steam ahead at this point...

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The WBNA spoke against the project, but several former WBNA board members spoke in favor of it.

Hmmmm Are you aware of any prior personality conflicts or disagreement over which direction the organization should take? Why are they former members?

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Hmmmm Are you aware of any prior personality conflicts or disagreement over which direction the organization should take? Why are they former members?

The 'split' that I assume most of you are speaking of within the WBNA probably refers to differences of opinion and debate (not unlike debates posted here) over development in the West Fountain Area. In general they refer to the debate over height, density, scale and preservation of exisiting buildings that are there. In the end, although it was not a unanimous decision of the board, the WBNA board has gone on record as having concerns about the height and density of the building. The Providence Preservation Society PAR (architectural review board) has expressed similar concerns and submitted these in a letter to the zoining board. Those who spoke at the hearing last night are still current, active members of the WBNA and are former Board members. Board terms last from 1-3 years and can be renewed or not. The Board slate changes yearly as terms are staggered.

I would invite you all to our Annual General Meeting- January 10, 2006 at 7pm at the Public Safety Complex where we will be voting in the new board, giving our yearly awards, having a powerpoint review of the year and our goals for next year. Rick Greenwood will be the Keynote speaker and will speak on "Industrial Providence: Rise, Fall and Rebirth." There will be dessert too. ( if you are feeling neighborly bring something to share).

Finally, I have to agree with Eltron who pointed out that "objection is a common way to get an improved design and more community benefits out a project"-- this is what we are all about.

Ina Anderson

Director of Programs

WBNA

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Anybody know anything more about this one? Status?

I noticed in the Saturday projo that two properties sold on West Fountain St in mid March. One for 1.8mil and the other for 550k. Bought by West Side Lofts LLC, which I am assuming is the LLC set up by Armory and their partners in this.

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Anybody know anything more about this one? Status?

I noticed in the Saturday projo that two properties sold on West Fountain St in mid March. One for 1.8mil and the other for 550k. Bought by West Side Lofts LLC, which I am assuming is the LLC set up by Armory and their partners in this.

Yes, I saw same about the sale of the bldgs and figured it was Armory. How about the financing? Did they get it? Any word on groundbreaking or timeframe? Finally, does anyone know of any bldgs in vicinity that are for sale but were not included in that sale--besides the unbelievably overpriced Paramount bldg?

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Anyone know anything more about this project? According to the Armory Revival website, says estimated April 2006 contruction date. <_<

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Anyone know anything more about this project? According to the Armory Revival website, says estimated April 2006 contruction date. <_<

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I might be the only one caring about this one, but anyone hear anything on this or know what the status is?. I would love to see this area be developed.

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