Should the Downing Corp. building facade on Weybosset Street in Providence’s Financial District be torn down?

Posted 3/15/10

Once an integral part of the proposed One Ten Westminster condominium project in Providence’s Financial District, the former Downing Corp. building facade has been standing encased in a rusting steel cage for years.

It was to be an example of how historic preservation and modern approaches to development could not only coexist but produce something greater than the sum of the old and the new.

Unfortunately, that idea does not look like it ever will be brought to fruition, as the financial crisis has ground development to a halt, especially residential development.

Merchants in the area complain that the facade and its support system not only block the sidewalk, but make the street very difficult to navigate, and thus are hurting their business. They ask that it be torn down so that they can return to a more normal flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

What do you think?

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