Lost Providence is a history of architectural change in Rhode Island’s capital city. An editor at History Press read a column by Mr. Brussat for the Journal in 2014 called “Providence’s 10 best lost buildings”; he asked its author to expand it into a book.
The description of buildings lost takes many detours to visit buildings that still exist, offering lessons in preservation. History Press let the author broaden his theme to include not just lost buildings but lost plans since the 1840s - major urban projects, accomplished or not, that are disappearing from local memory.
These include such plans as the Downtown Providence 1970 Plan, announced in 1960, an urban renewal disaster, or plans that are widely misunderstood, such as the College Hill Survey of 1959, which included both urban renewal and preservation, but whose urban renewal is now conveniently overlooked. Mr. Brussat’s description of the River Relocation Project and the Downcity Plan concludes the book on a note of confidence.
About David Brussat (Washington, DC Author)
David Brussat served as a member of the Providence Journal’s editorial board for 30 years, and for the last 25 years wrote a weekly oped column on Thursdays about architecture in Providence, in Rhode Island, and elsewhere, favoring traditional over modernist design. In 2009 he started a blog, Architecture Here and There, at the paper.
In 2014, after the paper was sold, he left, but continued his blog, where he posts almost once a day. Mr. Brussat has written for many publications and occasionally edits or ghostwrites material on architecture for others, including some of the most notable names in the world of architecture.
Mr. Brussat was born in Chicago, grew up in the District of Columbia, and has a degree in journalism from the American University. He lives on the East Side of Providence with his wife Victoria Somlo and son Billy, age 8.