About Editor A4Arch

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Working towards better Public Spaces

Working towards better Public Spaces

When most people think about the idea of “Public Space” they will often immediately think of parks and public squares. While parks like Touro Park, Queen Anne Square and Washington Square serve an important role as visual punctuation to the buildings, the vast majority of open public spaces are the streets, medians and sidewalks, which are often neglected from design consideration. More

A Mysterious Monument

A Mysterious Monument

Newport is home to an extraordinary number of architectural treasures. For the most part the architects, owners and dates of construction for these buildings are well documented. In one case, however, the dates and history of the structure are very much in contention and the alternatives stretch the imagination to its limits. The Newport Tower in Touro Park, is a structure that dates from the earliest days of Newport’s settlement but was perhaps built even earlier. More

Newport Spring

Newport Spring

In 1639, looking for a new place to form a new community, a small group of colonial settlers found what they were looking for: a deep water harbor with a fresh water spring nearby. The colonial charter readers:  “It is agreed and ordered that the Plantation now begun at this South west end of the island, shall be called Newport… and that the Towne shall be built upon both sides of the spring, and by the seaside Southward”  And so it is clear that the spring and its location was central to the formation of the new settlement. Where is the location of this precious spring, the thing that made the founding of Newport 375 years ago possible and desirable? Amazingly, for most of the last century or so the spring has been buried under the site of a gas station. That the gas station was on Spring Street, from whence the name of this early road came, is much less surprising. More

Rhode Island Lighthouses

Rhode Island Lighthouses

A building type particular and special to the coastal areas, both around the United States and around the world, is the lighthouse. Built to aid in marine navigation and warn boats away from hazardous rock outcroppings, lighthouses have existed from the early days of mankind first discovering fire and going to sea. One of the lost ancient wonders of the world was the fabled lighthouse at Alexandria, which supposedly stood as tall of a forty story building for more than a thousand years. Here in Rhode Island, this great tradition of these nautical buildings constructed to protect boats and ship from navigational dangers is both celebrated and challenged at the same time. More