On a recent trip to Kansas City I was greeted by what seemed a familiar silhouette.
The Kansas City Power & Light tower, a set-back 1930s-era skyscraper capped by a lantern, immediately calls to mind Providence’s own Industrial Trust (aka the “Superman”) Building. Unlike our forsaken landmark, the K.C. monolith is alive and well-maintained — a combination of apartments and special events space, its many terraces colorfully spot-lit to add to the town’s evening luster.
Cincinnati presents a stunningly vibrant business district crowded with glittering modern high-rises, but standing proudly among them, shining just as brightly, is the 49-story Carew Tower, completed in 1930. The department store chain for which it was named is long gone, but the building has survived.
While cheering on with almost giddy enthusiasm the “gleaming” Hope Point Tower project, which is nothing more than an out-of-place Florida co-op sore thumb, The Providence Journal last month (“The fate of the Superman building,” editorial, Dec. 2) argued that the marketplace would have to find some use for the older building or it might eventually be torn down.
There has been so much remorse expressed of late for lost pieces of Rhode Island’s identity. Are we really so lacking in care, drive and imagination that we’ll accept this sleepwalking removal of yet another part, indeed a signature part, of our character and history?
Victor W. Lavenstein Jr.
Editor’s note: The editorial, while saying the public should not be held primarily responsible for saving the building, and that it is past its prime as an office building, expressed the hope that the marketplace would find use for it as housing.