Mayor Jorge Elorza will be re-dedicating the monument with its restored plaques at Gano Street’s Roger Williams Landing Park September 22nd.
Monument Dedication, September 22nd
Mayor Jorge Elorza will be re-dedicating the monument at Gano Street’s Roger Williams Landing Park, one of Providence’s most historical locations, at 6 p.m., Thursday, September 22, 2016, according to Wendy Nilsson, park superintendent.
“The return of this Fox Point of Interest is an example of how our department can work with neighborhood organizations to restore the city’s parks, many of which have historical significance,” Nilsson says. “Last year, FPNA raised $8,000 in contributions to recreate and cast the original 1906 plaques, which had been missing from the monument since 2007,” she added. “The Parks Department was able to leverage additional resources to complete the project because of commitment from the community to see this project through.”
The 6-month foundry restoration of four of the five missing plaques was awarded to Robert Shure with Skylight Studios, according to Brian Byrnes, Deputy Park Superintendent. “Mr. Shure did an excellent job matching the historic bronze details, letter style, texture, form, and patina of the original works,” Byrnes said. “Moreover, he utilized a blind mounting detail which will make their theft almost impossible.”
In 2014, FPNA volunteers began researching the missing four plaques and provided photos and text descriptions to Shure, according to FPNA Vice President Daisy Schnepel. “We got an estimate and began fundraising activities.”
“FPNA received several generous contributions from members including one for $500,” Schnepel pointed out. “But, our big break came when the September Fund of The Boston Foundation dedicated $5,000 from an anonymous donor to the Roger Williams Landing Monument Fund,” Schnepel points out.
FPNA also would like to thank Mayor Jorge Elorza, Councilman Seth Yurdin and the Parks Department for putting the plaque restoration into the 2016 budget, she adds. “It all helped to return the necessary commemoration and respect to this very special historic place in Fox Point.”
The centerpiece plaque, which is a relief of Williams being greeted by the Narragansett Indians as he steps onto the slate rock, is an asset to the community, she continues. “As a focal point for visitors and historians alike, this monument also commemorates the kindness of the native Americans, who welcomed Williams and the colonists with open arms in 1636.”
This restored monument joins the historical marker and new boat launch as some exciting destinations along the emerging Fox Point Greenway on the Seekonk River. The greenway is anchored by the Blackstone Bike Way and Gano Park, both of which are undergoing construction and improvements this fall.
Power Lines Update
After a series of closed-door meetings, National Grid has proposed to leave the high-voltage power lines entirely overhead on the Providence-East Providence waterfront, according to David Riley, co-chair of Friends of India Point Park, FIPP.
“The company wants to re-align only a small portion of the overhead wires by moving them from the India Point Park soccer field to the Washington Bridge Linear Park,” Riley explains. “It betrays fourteen years of good-faith, coordinated efforts in the community to resolve this issue,” he points out. “Installing these unsightly wires on the popular new, $20 million linear park dramatically increases their prominence for hundreds of thousands of motorists, who use the Washington Bridge and the Interstate 195 Highway.”
FPNA has joined FIPP, the Providence Preservation Society, Save the Bay and other organizations in opposing this latest National Grid proposal that was offered in August. “Leaving the wires permanently overhead would reduce the value of properties surrounding Providence’s waterfront by tarnishing its economic, civic, and scenic assets, FPNA Vice President Daisy Schnepel says.
“The apparent success of the Providence-to-Newport Ferry as a boost to tourism should trump the latest National Grid proposal,” she points out. “It is counterintuitive for anyone to think that those wires you are forced to view as you enter Providence Harbor enhance the State’s tourism efforts in any way.”
Instead, FIPP urges that a feasibility study be performed to locate the wires either under or alongside the harbor’s bridges and in the ground where necessary on land. "This idea has been raised, but not seriously addressed in the past," Riley explained. “Such an approach would dramatically reduce the visual impact of the unsightly wires, and save millions of dollars by the avoidance of the need to bury them under the rivers."
If you would like to voice your support for burying the wires, please sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/bury-the-waterfront-power-lines-in-providence-and-east-providence .
Other endorsers include former attorney general Patrick Lynch; environmental advocates Richard Worrell, Peggy and Henry Sharp; Eat Drink RI President David Dadekian; Kimberly Green, regional vice president of TPG Hotels and Resorts (owners of the new Hilton Garden Inn Providence Renaissance); T. J. McNulty, founder of the Rhode Island Seafood Festival; Michael Sabitoni, president of Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council; Benjamin Ben Tre, managing partner of Roosevelt International Academy (former Tockwotton Home); Residential Properties President Sally Lapides, Wickenden Area Merchants Association President Vincent Scorziello, Councilman Seth Yurdin, Sen. Gayle Goldin, East Providence Waterfront District Commission member and former State Sen. Paul Moura and State Reps. Chris Blazajewski, Aaron Regunberg and Edith Ajello.
WAMA Festival, September 10th
The Wickenden Area Merchants Association, WAMA, has made this year’s Wickenden Street Merchants and Makers Sidewalk Sale better than ever. This second annual street-wide event, which is set for Saturday, September 10th from noon to 5 p.m., features arts and crafts from local makers.
“We'll be closing Wickenden Street from Brook to Traverse streets so vendors can set up tents, says Vincent Scorziello, president of WAMA. “We'll have cocktails by Little Bitte and beer from Revival Brewing, poured by Laughing Gorilla Catering,” he adds. “Come on out and support local artists, clothing designers, jewelry makers, potters, metalworkers and glassblowers.”
Scorziello asks residents support its merchants, saying, “Stay for dinner at any of the great little restaurants in the neighborhood.”
Also in September, FPNA Board Member Bruce Millard has planned a movie event, showing “The Raiders of the Lost Ark,” on the vacant parcel at the corner of Wickenden and South Main streets. “We’re still awaiting a final okay on the date from the City for this event, which we hope to repeat and expand in 2017,” Millard adds. Check our Facebook page at FPNA-Fox Point Neighborhood Association.
Rain date Sunday, September 11th, rain or shine!
FPNA Unclear On Clinic Status
FPNA’s Board, working with Councilman Seth Yurdin, remains unclear at publication time on the final outcome of a controversial permit application to open a methadone clinic on Wickenden Street, as reported July 22 by GoLocal.com.
FPNA has learned from the Governor's Office that the business operating at 381 Wickenden Street is not a licensed medical facility, Vice President Daisy Schnepel says. “It appears that the clinic is soliciting for patients needing treatment only, not dispensing any medication,” she adds. “Furthermore, the clinic is not providing medical services, which is likely not permitted under the law, “ we were told.
The Governor’s Office reportedly has referred the matter to the State Attorney General’s Office for review and enforcement.
Events this Month:
Wickenden Street Merchants and Makers Sidewalk Sale is set for Saturday, September 10th from noon to 5 p.m., featuring arts and crafts from local makers.
A showing of “The Raiders of the Lost Ark,” is planned on the vacant parcel at the corner of Wickenden and South Main streets. Date and time to be announced.
FPNA Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Monday, September 13th at the Vartan Gregorian Bath House Community Room, 455 Wickenden Street. Public welcome.