Structure Critic Will Morgan’s Naughty and Good Checklist for 2021

Saturday, December 25, 2021

 

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GoLocal’s enigmatic Will Morgan is the folks’s structure critic.

The nationally acknowledged structure knowledgeable has checked out the most effective and the worst of Rhode Island’s design over the previous 5 years.

This yr’s columns had been amazingly poignant, having a look at how structure impacts the world round us — for higher or for worse. 

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Take a tour of Morgan’s 2021 columns — and who was naughty and good on the earth of design and structure.

 


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Naughty

Worcester’s Polar Park Is Underwhelming at $160 Million

Baseball is returning to the Blackstone River Valley. On Tuesday, the Worcester Woo Sox host the Syracuse Mets for the season opener at Polar Park, the spanking new house of the Boston Purple Sox farm crew. The stadium that value greater than $160 million additionally highlights the failure of a silver-bullet sports activities enviornment to reverse inner-city decline.

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Naughty

Cathedral Sq.: Hideous Current, Superb Future

Cathedral Sq. is among the dreariest locations in downtown Windfall. An space that should be the guts of town is as an alternative an empty, forlorn, completely unwelcoming, and hostile “civic” area. Half a century after an internationally well-known architect and a nationally acknowledged panorama agency designed and customary it, Cathedral Sq. is an embarrassing city catastrophe.

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Naughty

Goodbye Inexperienced, Hey Asphalt: The Dying of Metacomet Golf Membership

Does East Windfall have a loss of life want? The Metropolis Council’s approval of growth plans for the 138-acre Metacomet Gold Membership to be destroyed for a shopping mall with residences, workplaces, and eating places has to rank as one of many greatest planning blunders for the reason that metropolis allowed itself to be minimize in half by Interstate 195 within the Sixties.

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Naughty

One other Misstep From the 195 Fee

Why does nearly every little thing that the I-195 Fee touches change into architecturally second charge? How lengthy will Windfall proceed to endure from an company that has failed to supply design management for a vastly vital piece of downtown growth?

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Naughty

Are We Designing Higher Trying Parking Garages Than Inns

The brand new lodge in Windfall’s paradoxically named “Innovation & Design District” is an actual dud. Whereas we’re completely happy to welcome a brand new hostelry, in addition to one other completed piece within the I-195 Growth scheme, the soon-to-be-completed Aloft Lodge on Dyer–Road is a serious architectural disappointment.

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Naughty

The Mauling of Thayer Road

Thayer Road  “is a vibrant and always evolving space,” in keeping with the Windfall-Warwick Conference & Guests Bureau. “The neighborhood caters to the school crowd however it additionally beloved by lecturers and locals.” The Bureau continues, “Thayer constantly refreshes its choices to remain present and interesting locally.” That assertion is six years outdated, inflicting one to surprise if anybody from the Conference Bureau has been again to Thayer Road since. A extra correct description of Brown’s as soon as interesting industrial space would describe it as a seedy slice of Occasions Sq..

The faculty strip has at all times been a combined delight for town watcher.  Anytime Carolyn and I had been touring throughout the nation, we’d head for a college city, hoping for an oasis in a desert of quick meals and sameness. We reasoned that campuses invariably had an space shut by the place you can get a superb pizza, and in years previous, discover a well being meals retailer, tobacconist, a florist, a classic clothier, and a superb bookstore.

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Naughty

A New Home Type for Our Low-cost Age

Ubiquibox is a mode identify I’m giving to these ubiquitous box-shaped residences which might be invading the East Facet of Windfall. The shapeless, undecorated container is the proper metaphor for the 2020s and our race to the underside, turning away from our metropolis’s wealthy heritage of home structure.

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Naughty

Assault on Wayland Sq.

Will success spoil Wayland Sq.? If we need to visualize the tragically overbuilt way forward for the industrial coronary heart of this East Facet neighborhood we’d like solely have a look at the design of the proposed condo block that can exchange the almost century-old Monahan Drabble & Sherman Funeral House. (The venerable undertakers have moved to East Windfall.)

Apart from the guiding ideas for the continued erosion of Wayland Sq.–the necessity for housing and unalloyed greed, can a case be made for the insertion of a scale-destroying five-story behemoth in what has been hailed as one of the vital fascinating neighborhoods wherever? How will 230 Waterman, with its 38 flats and a few retail area in a completely undistinguished bundle, contribute something greater than site visitors congestion, shadows, and a diminution of the standard of life?

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Good

The Beatrice Lodge Embraces Downtown

The Beatrice Lodge is a jewel. The boutique lodge that opened in downtown Windfall on September 1st is the form of hostelry that our historic metropolis deserves, however hardly ever will get. Realized in a restored Nineteenth-century financial institution, the Beatrice is in triumphant distinction to the current uninspiring new chain accommodations, such because the Residence Inn, Aloft, and Homewood Suites. Developer and former mayor Joseph Paolino, Jr. rescued and revitalized the Trade Financial institution, a good-looking, five-story industrial block. This lodge exhibits how we will create fascinating enterprise areas that enrich the cultural panorama of town.

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Good

Narragansett Brewery: Fox Level Winner

The century-old brewery in Cranston, which at one time employed 850 employees and in 1915 was the most important brewery in New England, was razed in 1998. The identify survived, however the beer was brewed as distant as Lacrosse, Wisconsin and Ft. Wayne, Indiana, absurdly dislocated from its eponymous house, and it simply wasn’t the identical. Because of Mark Hellendrung, Narragansett Beer is again within the Ocean State, and its new house is a notable architectural addition to our harbor entrance.

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Good

Townie Satisfaction: East Windfall Excessive Faculty

The place would you go to expertise “probably the most excellent highschool mission within the Northeast”? Would you may have guessed East Windfall? Even making allowances for the architect’s rightful boast, the Townies have a number of which to be proud. The brand new highschool on Pawtucket Avenue is one other instance of how town throughout the Seekonk is quietly embracing the longer term.

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Good

Is Hope Road the Excellent City Major Road?

From Hope Excessive Faculty to Lippitt Park, this thoroughfare demonstrates how a avenue can kind a vibrant city inside a metropolis. Carolyn, and I contemplated this query eating at Avenue N, as we celebrated the lifting of covid restrictions. As we ate, we watched our city opening up alongside Hope Road, the backbone of Windfall’s East Facet.  

Streets are extra than simply site visitors arteries. Streets are fundamental models of metropolis planning. The pandemic strengthened this, as folks had been compelled outdoors to dine. In a single day we adopted the European al fresco custom, as if we had at all times occupied the sidewalk to eat and socialize. This straightforward change re-connected folks with the road, and re-affirmed a tenet of citizen-driven planning.

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Good

Dye Home: Windfall’s Daring New Lodge

The Dye Home is a daring new lodge in Windfall. Located in Olneyville, it shines a light-weight on that uncared for but vibrant a part of city. And, it factors up the sadly pedestrian nature of most accommodations not too long ago erected within the metropolis. With solely 4 rooms, the intriguing Dye Home is a reminder that dimension doesn’t matter, and that usually small might be lovely.

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Good

The Antidote to the Seaside McMansion

A current home on a five-acre pasture on Conanicut Island challenges the standard norm that profitable and rich patrons construct solely bloated castles alongside the shore.

The Newport architectural agency based by James Estes and Peter Twombly over 20 years in the past (now with the added companion of Adam Titrington), have lengthy been the designers to go to for properties that captured each the most effective of Modernism and the Rhode Island vernacular. Their work is environmentally delicate, built-in with the land, good-looking, and above all modest.

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