Providence College Torch Providence, RI
Built in 1929 to serve Worcester’s once sizable French-Canadian population, Notre Dame des Canadiens Church was among the city’s most treasured landmarks. The church was situated adjacent to the Common, a highly visible structure within view of City Hall and the renowned Burnside Fountain.
When the church was lost to development in 2018, all that remained was a single bronze bell. Save Notre Dame Alliance, an advocacy group initially formed to save the building from demolition, later acquired the bell and, in Fall of 2019, announced a design charrette for monuments in which to house it. Firm principal Gerry Sullivan engaged a small team of SSV personnel to design, model, and render the proposed structure.
The concept borrowed its form from the twin spire lanterns at the building’s primary façade, intended to be equally monumental and participatory. Housing what remained of the church and visitors together under the same roof, the design was intended to create a space where Worcester’s public could reflect upon the city’s rich history.