Inhabitants Merely Irritated By Student Designs on Block Island
Block Island may not be a vacation paradise of the future despite the revolutionary designs for its rejuvenation submitted by some 90 student in the Graduate School of Architecture last fall.
Many of the old salts of the little Island (population 500) ten miles off the Southern shore of Rhode Island did not like the ideas for vacationland that the prospective architects dreamed up. The inhabitants of the Island are content to keep their home just as it is rather than change it into the glamorous place that the students conceived.
The Block Island plans were conceived as a practice project for the men in architectural planning and landscaping at the school. The Island has been on the decline for the past few decades as a resort, yet it has the potentiality to be one of the foremost summer havens in the East.
Uninvited and uncalled for, the students came to the rescue of the little Island. Their bashy ideas, however, did not click with the old timers, and the general feeling of the Islanders is to junk the plane.
In the youngsters interpretations of a paradise are included four separate plans, which call for everything from racetracks, night clubs, chromium and glass hotels, movie palaces, and swimming pools to "a little fishing by the natives to give the place local color."
The general feeling of the Islanders is that this is the kind of place vacationists want to escape from. The split between the ideas of two generations lies behind the whole dissatisfaction.
There is some hope that the designs will not die, since a few of the natives are for any idea that would make the slowly-decaying place the thriving summer establishment it once was.
Another objection raised was that the Harvard designs might encourage the wrong kind of tourists. The president of the Chamber of Commerce stated that "The Island needs a gradual development as a summer colony. A gradual deal gives you a high class trade. I don't believe that the Islanders would go for the Harvard plans.