- Amy Mendillo for Providence Monthly
Neighbors Celebrate Grassroots Victory
Fox Point neighbors took a moment at the March meeting of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) to reflect on a hard-earned win: the demise of the Fane Tower, a proposed 47-story residential tower that the 195 Commission considered —and many residents and local groups adamantly opposed—for nearly seven years. The developer, who received initial approvals from the Commission to build the tower at on the western side of the Providence River near the Van Leesten Bridge, was turned down decisively by the same body in February after submitting a pared-down design.
The overwhelming response among FPNA board members was relief. “Wrong building, wrong spot,” commented FPNA Vice President Daisy Schnepel. “The tower was going to stand out like a sore thumb and look more like Miami than New England,” she said. “Why dominate the landscape with high-end apartments when the city cries for affordable housing?” FPNA board member Lily Bogosian commented on the thousands of residents and visitors who, since the withdrawal of the proposal, would be granted a reprieve. The city’s “amazing skies and sunsets,” she said, “will not be eclipsed by the shadow of the Fane Tower.”
Most of all, neighbors expressed thanks to the coalition of individuals and organizations who came together for a long and unified fight, with a special nod to Sharon Steele, President of the Jewelry District Association, who led neighbors through a costly court battle. “I'm proud of the citizens and neighborhood organizations of Providence,” said Board member Vin Scorziello, “who organized and persisted and managed to get our voices heard.” “We protected and saved the park we paid for!” added Leslie Myers. “I am look forward to this fabulous place being enjoyed by everyone.”
Image, Amy Mendillo