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Ornate window transom, photo by Pete Rienhard

Rhode Island Hospital Planning to Demolish Historic Southwest Pavilion

Timeline of Events

RI Hospital Southwest Pavilion
Southwest Pavilion, photo by Frank Mullin.

2010 - 10/2015: Feasability Studies

Rhode Island Hospital commissions feasability studies of converting the Southwest Pavilion for clinical use. The studies estimate that it will cost approx. $20 million(2010) and $26.5 million(2015) to convert the Pavilion into a dialysis clinic.

The Hospital petitions the City Plan Commission to grant an amendment to their Institutional Master Plan(IMP) to allow for the demolition of the Pavilion. The CPC continues the matter.

12/18/2016: CPC Denies Amendment to IMP

The City Plan COmmission denies the hospital's apllication, effectively denying them permission to demolish the Pavilion.

The Hospital appeals the descision.

1/2016: Invitation to Charette

PPS extends and invitation to RI Hospital and Lifespan to attend a charette for the Southwest Pavilion. Rhode Island School of Design also expresses interest.

The hospital does not respond.

3/22/2016: ZBA Appeal

The hospital's appeal is heard by the Providence Zoning Board of Appeals, which overturns the CPC's original descision. The matter is remanded back to CPC, which is instructed to grant the amendmet.

5/12/2016: PPS Receives Response from Lifespan and RI Hospital

Margaret Van Bree and Laurence Aubin respond to PPS's letter dated April 21, 2016. They do not answer any of PPS's questions or invitaitons to take part in a community discussion. PPS responds with another request for community discussion.

6/10/2016: Zoning Board of Appeals Files its Written Descision

6/21/2016: City Plan Commission Grants Amendment to IMP

The Hospital was placed on the City Plan Commission's agenda for Tuesday, June 21, at 4:45pm.

Though members of the CPC were reluctant to grant the amendment, they were informed by their attorney that they must abide by the Zoning Board of Appeals's ruling, and grant the amendment.

Several members of the Commission noted that stronger protection should be given to institutional buildings.

7/7/2016: City Council Passes Resolution

Providence City Council passed a resolution calling on Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan to preserve the Pavilion. In it, the City Council affirmed that it "has a moral obligation to honor and preserve the landmarks and historically significant structures that connect us to our past and make our city a vibrant, beautiful, and unique place to live" and therefore "urge[d] Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan to consider all options and do everything in their power to preserve the historic Southwest Pavilion." The bill was introduced by Ward 5 Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, and co-sponsored by almost half the council.