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Lone Ranger

Prospect Hill/Thames Street project

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I dunno what it is yet, but it looks like we've got a little infill project at the bottom of Prospect Hill where it meets Thames. A surface lot bites the dust? Dare we hope? :thumbsup:

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I'll have to go take a look tomorrow. I hadn't noticed or heard anything, but infill sounds good to me. :)

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They're moving quickly. Two days ago, the site was a parking lot. If it rained tonight, they'd have a swimming pool.

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So might this Thames/Prospect Hill site be the future landing spot for the rumored Brooks Brothers, or was I right about BB being destined to fill the vacancy left by JT's?

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Could be. It would make a good spot for Brooks Brothers. Lower Thames never struck me as quite their "scene," the way this section does.

I haven't been able to dig up anything definite on this project yet, but it certainly does look like they're preparing to build something, the way they're levelling the site.

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Could be. It would make a good spot for Brooks Brothers. Lower Thames never struck me as quite their "scene," the way this section does.

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I dunno what it is yet, but it looks like we've got a little infill project at the bottom of Prospect Hill where it meets Thames. A surface lot bites the dust? Dare we hope? :thumbsup:

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Great sleuthing, Mapman!

I'll wait to form an opinion on the new bank building, but any infill down there is good on principle. I agree with you that the placement of the foundation on the lot is reason for optimism.

And I had to laugh when I saw the PDF image of the Rochambeau statue standing in the middle of Broadway. :lol:

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was I right about BB being destined to fill the vacancy left by JT's?

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OK, that's a pretty good fit for the area.

Which still leaves us with the Brooks Brothers mystery, but I guess we'll see. Hmm. What's supposed to happen to the building People's is set to vacate?

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It occurs to me that, if PCU is in fact gone, then there are some interesting possibilities for that parking lot/drivethru next to it.

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Finally got around to taking some pics of this:

I have mixed feelings overall about the rendering below. A two-story building would better fit the scale of Thames Street, but the building itself doesn't seem too terrible. It certainly won't be a landmark building, but given the right materials this could be a satisfactory contributor to the streetscape:

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Looking south on Thames. The drive-through is tucked into an alley, the least obtrusive location:

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Looking north. I kind of like how the gable echoes the gable on the Newport Blues Cafe:

sov3um4.jpg

Looking up Prospect Hill. Even unfinished, the building is a dramatic improvement on this street:

sov4tv4.jpg

The back:

sov5ov6.jpg

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If the bank fails, this building will have a wonderful opportunity for a second life as a Burger King.

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I've been meaning to take some update shots, since they've started installing siding on the Prospect Hill side of the building. I'll try to get down there over the next couple days.

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As promised, here are some pictures from this afternoon:

43022423wd9.jpg

The stone facing looks good now, but I wonder how well it will weather. The shingles, on the other hand, could use a good patina. They look way too sterile.

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The facade is most complete on the Prospect Hill side. It doesn't really show up well in the pictures, but there's a faux stucco (stuccaux?) texture to the walls. The brackets along the eaves are attractive from a disatance, but up close I would like to see more decorative detail.

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A close-up of the detailing on the Prospect Hill facade.

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The back of the building looks more or less complete. The widow's-walk-meets-AC reminds me of Colonial Liquors in Middletown.

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Is the roof slate or slauxt? It looks pretty good whatever it is, better than tar paper shingles.

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Honestly, it looks a lot better in the pictures than it does in reality. I think it might, in fact, be nothing more than tar paper shingles of some sort.

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I'm pretty sure they're not real slate, but if they weather well, I think they'll look almost as good. Like I said, their big problem for the moment is that they're too clean, too perfect. Ask me in a year or so what I think of this roof.

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Just a couple quick shots I took this afternoon. They've more or less completed both side facades, and there's more stone on the front:

1010077tv8.jpg

1010078qv0.jpg

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K, well after the addition of the two-tone stonework, I've decided either that the builders here are operating on an aesthetic level way over my plebeian head, or that the builders are just insane.

I'm not sure there's any middle ground on that one.

But I just keep reminding myself: it's better than the surface lot, it's better than the surface lot, it's ...

Not sure I believe that, though.

I'll say this: if they had a) built this square to the sidewalk and b) found an excuse to make this a multi-story building, for whatever reason, those two things by alone might have been enough to win me.

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I haven't seen it in person yet, but I like the stone facade from the pics. It also appears the building sits right on the front corner of the lot (how do you say... interacts well with the street) and the entrance door is connected to the sidewalk up front so its pedestrian-friendly. You don't have to cross a drive through lane on foot or otherwise walk across asphalt when the sidewalk ends to get to the entrance. Yeah, its good! Looks sharp for a commercial chain bank branch.

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^My opinion of this building changes regularly, and I agree with both Dan and Lone Ranger to some extent. The stone does look good. They've completed the arched section around the entrance since my pics, and it is attractive (if a bit grand for such a tiny building). Like Lone Ranger said, it would be better if it were square to the street rather than angled. I think that was a way of making room for the weelchair ramp without a complete setback from the sidewalk. It's apparent that the relationship to the street was a concern, but I'm not crazy about the way the ramp seems to wall off the entrance from some angles. About the only thing I would ask for is a second story, even if it were a carbon copy of the first. That would improve both the building itself and its interaction with its neighbors. Overall it seems like some effort was made to keep the quality above that of a typical bank branch. It'll never be my favorite building on Thames Street, but it could certainly have been worse.

It is better than a surface lot. ;)

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About the only thing I would ask for is a second story, even if it were a carbon copy of the first. That would improve both the building itself and its interaction with its neighbors.

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1001940dn3.jpg

I guess balloons are a pretty good sign that this is finished. The grand opening is next week, according to the sidewalk sign out front.

When this project began, we were speculating that this might be the rumored Brooks Brothers store. I just noticed today that they're going into the old Dansk location at Brick Market Place. They have "Opening Spring, 2007" signs in the windows.

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