Updated March 25 at 6:25am
This Week’s Poll

Should the Providence Public Library be allowed to put LED billboards on its historic facade?

Posted:
Yes, it will help raise the library's profile in the city 74% | 150 votes
No, it will detract from the unique architectural quality of the building 23% | 47 votes
I don't know 3% | 6 votes

The Providence Public Library is seeking to put a series of LED-mesh screens on the Empire and Washington streets facade of its historic building. And even though the facade in question is actually part of the 1954 addition to the original 1900 Beaux Arts home, it too is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The question facing preservationists as well as the library staff is, what updates to a historic downtown building make sense in terms of helping the institution update its marketing efforts while not adversely affecting the institution’s iconic architectural status in downtown Providence? Is this proposed trade-off between the modern marketplace and past design glory worth it?

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