Providence City Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1) has teamed up with residents and neighborhood groups in an effort to reform Brown University’s proposed dormitory development on Brook Street in the Fox Point neighborhood. Councilman Goncalves and concerned community members have shared their dissatisfaction with the current state of Brown University’s building plans and have put forth several suggestions to improve the plan to better fit the neighborhood.
The petition was first circulated on May 17th and has since accumulated over 500 signatures.
“The historic character of the Fox Point neighborhood is central to the area’s aesthetic identity and functionality. As a Brown alumnus, I appreciate Brown University immensely and recognize Brown as a valuable local partner. However, there are several aspects of the Brook Street plan that do not match the unique needs and characteristics of the neighborhood. I hope that residents will take interest in the petition that calls on Brown University to consider the valuable input of the residents who will be most affected by these development plans,” stated Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1).
The petition urges Brown University to ensure the architectural design of the residential building is in harmony with existing neighborhood architecture and that the size of the building is in scale with other buildings and homes on the street. In the current design plans, the building would be much larger and significantly different than the existing architecture in the neighborhood.
Brown University’s revised design plan also removed retail space on the first floor of the building, which the petition calls on to be restored to be inclusive of the local community and contribute to City taxes. While revised design plans included expanded green space, community input indicated that a retail space would be more advantageous to the neighborhood.
Lastly, the petition urges Brown University to preserve three existing, historically significant houses in the area instead of tearing them down.
“Our neighborhoods have been forced to fight back against this once admired institution. In their zeal to build out the institutional zone, Brown planners do not seem to be acting on their promise to consider the context and culture of our historic architecture and genial way of living. Their plan is tearing at the fabric of our community,” stated Liz Mauran, neighbor.
“I would like to thank my community partners at College Hill Neighborhood Association, FPNA, Mile of History Association, and Providence Preservation Society for coming together to advocate for specific revisions to improve Brown’s development plans. I call on residents to consider signing our petition to strengthen our efforts to improve and enhance this development in the beautiful, historic Fox Point Neighborhood,” added Councilman Goncalves.
To read more about the above requests, and to view the petition, click here: https://bit.ly/3hkOChE