To start with, they’re bike racks, shaped into the library’s logo/letters, “PPL”. Whenever you need to pick up a book at Providence Public Library, you can pedal over, lock up your ride, and fetch your reserved materials. Or you may not even be visiting PPL; the rack is a dependable lock-up on Empire Street, right across from Trinity Repertory Company, and within walking distance of practically everything.
But the new metal constructs are more than that. They were crafted at The Steel Yard, the artists’ enclave in the Valley neighborhood, by designer/fabricators Jesi Nicoloro and Devyn Maher and their Public Projects Team. They also created three tree guards; the elegant gates now circumscribe patches of earth where saplings were recently planted. The metal is shaped into the letters “PPL,” taking after the Library’s hip logo, which itself was created by Design Agency, a Providence firm that specializes in local nonprofits.
Now that PPL has completed its $27-million renovation, the new racks are a finishing touch. The grand opening of the new library wasn’t yet scheduled at press time, but it should be soon. And when the PPL finally becomes a post-quarantine destination, you’ll have at least one more way to get there.