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In 1963, Providence’s Outlet Company anticipated the city of the future with the construction of a new multi-story parking garage, by architects Gage & Martinson, unlike any other structure in the city. A parade heralded its arrival and dignitaries ceremonially cut ribbons. Shoppers were happy for both the convenience and the symbolism of modernity as they streamed across the new “skybridge” from the garage to the department store.

When PPS included the garage on its 2011 Most Endangered Properties list, the owners had announced plans to demolish the parking structure to make room for a surface lot. PPS opposed this demolition because the Outlet Garage was a symbol of urban planning that favors parking structures over surface lots which mar the face of downtowns across the country. The Outlet Garage further represented Mid-Century Modern architecture, a style that is threatened as properties less than 50 years old are often less understood and consequently more vulnerable to inappropriate treatment or demolition.

LOST: The garage was demolished in late 2011 to make room for a surface lot. As of February, 2019, it remains a surface lot.

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© 2024 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.