Dan Potter: Brussat should apologize (Letter to the Editor)

Published at the Projo online  01:00 AM EST on Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Regarding David Brussat’s Nov. 11 column, “Fishy foot-bridge contest in Providence”:

David Brussat’s recent column on the Providence foot-bridge design competition implies that Studio Providence subverted the initial design-firm selection process to have their firm included. My understanding is that a request for qualifications (RFQ) was posted and of the 40-plus firms that responded, 11 were deemed qualified to submit designs for the competition, including Studio Providence.

Either an apology and a correction is in order here, or Mr. Brussat should provide more details on how the RFQ process was abused.

In his piece, Mr. Brussat also publicly identifies the design put forward by Studio Providence. Given that both the panel judging the designs, and the public, has been asked to evaluate the designs on a blind basis, this action is a disservice to the judging process, and is sure to generate hard feelings regardless of the panel’s final decision.

Mr. Brussat and his editors at The Journal should question what the intent was here. If it was to remove Studio Providence’s design (which is in fact the most “modern” of the 11) from all consideration, it seems hardly like fair play, or an appropriate use of Mr. Brussat’s position as a critic.

In closing, I’ll add my own two cents about Studio Providence’s design. I think it is a wonderfully clean and functional design that also elegantly captures Providence’s historic strengths as a port and as an industrial power. As a gateway from one knowledge district to another, it is perfect.

For more information on all 11 designs (and to leave comments that will be reviewed by the judging panel), please visithttp://www.providenceplanning.org/ and follow the link to the foot-bridge design proposals, or visit the third floor of City Hall.

Dan Potter

Providence