Upcoming PPS Events
Be part of a global festival celebrating the places that matter to YOU! Inspired by the writings and life of Jane Jacobs, Providence will be host to at least 13 tours created by residents. Tours will be held throughout... read more
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2017 Festival of Historic Houses
Our 38th Festival of Historic Houses on June 2-3, 2017, celebrates the Upper Elmwood Historic District, featuring a rare collection of opulent architecture from Providence’s greatest growth period in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which shines again today thanks to residents' grassroots preservation efforts. Enjoy self-guided tours of more than one dozen private, historic homes on Saturday, June 3, plus a neighborhood fair showcasing the area's rich diversity. A Festival Preview Party to benefit PPS and Knight Memorial Library takes place on Friday, June 2 at the architecturally stunning Webster Knight House (c.1897), built by the founder of Fruit of the Loom. Advance ticket purchase strongly recommended!
Providence's Most Endangered Properties: 2017
Each year, PPS works with concerned neighbors, preservationists and activists to develop a list of historic city properties threatened by deterioration, neglect, insufficient funds, insensitive public policy and inappropriate development. By releasing the Most Endangered Properties list, we educate community members about the extraordinary architectural resources in Providence as well as the economic, environmental and cultural benefits of saving them. The MEP program has a long track record of fostering creative collaboration among property owners, developers and other interested parties to bring about positive change in each building. Examples of "saved" properties from past MEP lists include the Arcade, Poirier's Diner, Ladd Observatory at Brown University, The Steel Yeard and Pearl Street Lofts; soon, the Kendrick-Prentice Tirocchi House ("The Wedding Cake House") will join that list! Can you imagine Providence without these iconic sites?
Find descriptions and photos of this year's properties here on our web site, and be sure to follow us on social media (#ppsmep) and share our efforts as we showcase each of these urban treasures in need of our collective care.
2017 PPS Winter Bash:
Kings and Queens
Hear ye, hear ye! You and a few hundred illustrious lords and ladies are royally invited to the most spectacular party of the year: the Providence Preservation Society Winter Bash 2017. This year's theme is "Kings & Queens," and creative interpretations are encouraged. Feeling regal? Dust off your crown and reign in style. Prefer to rule the stage? From drag queen to Queen of the Stone Age, this is your night!
This year's Bash will take place on Saturday, February 25 at 8 pm at the International Importing Building at 47 Rathbone Street. One of two original produce market buildings that remain in the city, the c. 1935 industrial structure is being transitioned this year into "Made in Rhode Island" Maker Space by Rathbone Properties LLC. Get your tickets early for special savings! Want to save even more and support historic preservation? Join PPS today to save on Bash tickets and more.
Food stations + cash bar
Music + dancing courtesy of DJ JR with surprise performances throughout the evening
2017 Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards
Please join PPS on Wednesday, January 25 for our 2017 Annual Meeting at the Wheeler School's Isenberg Auditorium in the new Gilder Center for the Arts (224 Angell Street).
The meeting will feature a keynote address on “radical preservation” by renowned architects Amale Andraos and Dan Wood. Ms. Andraos, the Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and Mr. Wood, FAIA, LEED AP, are the Principals at WORKac, New York, where they lead international design projects.
During the meeting, PPS will also unveil our 2017 Most Endangered Properties advocacy list and present Preservation Awards to recognize recent projects, people and initiatives that align with our mission to improve Providence.
The program starts at 5:30 pm (doors open at 5), and is free and open to all. Advance registration is required online or by calling 401-831-7440. There will be a light reception following the program.
Announcing the PPS Annual Appeal Challenge: $60K for the 60th!
Make a donation to PPS by December 31 to help leverage critical Challenge funds for our preservation advocacy efforts! If $45,000 is contributed, anonymous donors will add $15,000, bringing the total to $60,000 in honor of our 60th Anniversary. Please donate today and spread the word by sharing the above video. Together, we will continue the 60-year legacy of improving Providence through historic preservation and advocacy for thoughtful design and planning. Thank you for taking the long view with us!
Save the Date for the Symposium, Why Preserve?
November 3 - 5, 2016
This year we will be hosting the Providence Symposium at the Industrial Trust Building, a twice-listed Most Endangered Property. Join us on November 3 to hear Keynote Speaker Curtis G. Viebranz, President and CEO of Mount Vernon. Symposium sessions will take place the next day and will center around the theme, "Why Preserve?"
Thursday, November 3, 6 pm
Keynote Speaker Curtis G. Viebranz, CEO and President of Mount Vernon
Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street
**FREE and open to the public**
Friday, November 4, 9 am - 3 pm
Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street
SIXTY, the Celebration
Skyline at Waterplace, 1 Finance Way
We will soon be announcing a 2017 date for SIXTY, the Celebration!
For more details and registration, visit www.ProvidenceSymposium.com
It's Nomination Season!
Most Endangered Properties list! Properties added to the MEP list are given public exposure they would not otherwise receive, generating ideas from all over that may not have been readily apparent to the building's owner, or even PPS.PPS is calling for nominations to their
Anyone can nominate a property to be an MEP. Nominations to the PPS MEP list are buildings that, if lost, would "erode historic urban character." That doesn't mean that every building nominated is a National Register listed building on College Hill! Past nominees range in age, size, and style, and include the Industrial Trust Building (1928), the Captain Joseph Tillinghast House (c. 1770), and Barnaby's Castle (1875; 1888). An MEP is important to its neighborhood, and we encourage nominations of buildings that matter to YOU.
Nominations are being accepted until September 5, 2016. The full MEP list will be unveiled at our annual meeting in January. Use the form below to nominate a place that's important to you!
Share your nomination with #PPSMEP!
Travel with PPS on a Journey to Cuba
Take a trip to Cuba with PPS next year. On January 15, 2017, a maximum of 16 travelers will fly from Miami to Havana for a weeklong journey in Cuba. After our successful 2016 trip, we learned a lot and are pleased to present to you our 2017 trip which is tailored to the sophisticated traveler, with exclusive experiences and boutique lodging in Havana Vieja.
Cuba changed a lot between my trips in 2013 and 2016. The food is better, hotel accommodations are expanding and American cruise ships can now dock in Havana Harbor. Change will only accelerate. While much of it will benefit the Cuban people and allow greater access, it will be less and less a unique travel experience. The U.S. will continue to soften relations with Cuba, so take advantage of a trip with PPS to fully experience this place as you imagine it to be.
Announcing 60th Anniversary Engagement Campaign and Committee
It’s been 60 years since PPS was founded in 1956 to save the historic College Hill neighborhood from proposed demolition, and we’re proud of our six decades of continued preservation feats and the city-wide organization we are today. Most of all, we’re grateful to our members, donors, sponsors, event-goers, and volunteers, who help us achieve our mission to improve Providence by advocating for historic preservation and thoughtful design and planning.
Our year-long 60th Anniversary “engagement campaign” features new and improved events, programs, and communications to both grow our audience and bolster our resources during this milestone year. Please visit us regularly here at www.ppsri.org, follow us on social media, and sign up to receive our e-mails for anniversary events and news throughout 2016.
We are also pleased at this time to share our 60th Anniversary Committee roster, co-chaired by Ted and Amanda Fischer, Christopher Marsella, and Tony and Virginia Thomas. PPS is grateful to this diverse group of more than 60 community leaders and preservation-backers who are assisting with key anniversary events and efforts.
Thank you for joining us as we both celebrate our past and work toward our vision of a more vibrant and sustainable Providence for future generations.
The 2016 Festival of Historic Houses showcases contemporary living in historic homes, and will guide attendees through residences in the storied North Benefit Street neighborhood in honor of Providence Preservation Society’s 60th Anniversary in 2016.
The Festival tour provides a rare opportunity to step inside historic properties on North Benefit Street and learn about their origins and inhabitants while viewing firsthand the modern day living spaces in these prized, preserved buildings.
Participants will enjoy seeing late-colonial-era and early Federal-style architecture, as well as late 18th century and early 19th century architectural features and trim, Victorian design elements, and Colonial Revival additions.
The Festival will feature over a dozen homes and gardens that will be open on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as guided tours of the neighborhood. For more details, and to purchase tickets, visit:
Interested in volunteering at the Festival? Click here!
Spring Lecture Series at the Lippitt House Museum
Tuesdays in March at the Lippitt House Museum
5:30 pm reception, 6:00 pm presentation
Free for PPS and PRI Members, $10 for non-members
Advance registration is required
Join PPS and Preserve Rhode Island on Tuesday evenings in March for this special series presented in honor of both organizations' 60th anniversary years! Speakers Rob Emlen and Mack Woodward will explore topics including Brown University's impact on the College Hill neighborhood in the 1950s and the historical development of Providence's architectual landscape.
Check out these great videos of Mack Woodward's sold-out lectures!
Join Us at the Winter Bash!
Don’t miss Providence Preservation Society’s grandest Winter Bash to date: A Steampunk Soirée, an over-the-top glam fete marking PPS’s 60th Anniversary date, Saturday, February 20. The soirée represents the largest indoor event ever to be held at The Steel Yard, and will feature performing artists, interactive stations, the VIP Steel Lounge and much more.
New touches to the party in honor of our anniversary year include small bites provided by Los Andes, Julian’s, El Rancho Grande, The Duck and Bunny, The Grange and Flatbread Pizza, with more to join. Want to feel extra swanky? Purchase a ticket for the VIP Steel Lounge. Entry into this velvet-roped area includes exclusive treats from the Capital Grill, oysters provided by Ocean State Oyster Festival and “bottomless bubbles,” an all you can drink Champagne Bar!
Act fast! Early bird tickets go on sale January 6th for $40 and will be available until 1/31, then the price increases to $45, then $50 day of. VIP tickets to the Steel Lounge are $100. Drink tickets can be purchased at the door with cash or credit.
Steampunk costumes are optional and encouraged. Think Victorian (corsets, petticoats, top hats, military-inspired looks) with industrial or post-apocalyptic flair, and accessories like timepieces, parasols, and flying goggles...possibilities are endless, and we will even have Steampunk swag on hand for your purchasing pleasure!
Join Us at Our Annual Meeting!
Wednesday, January 20 at 5:30 pm at the Providence Public Library, 225 Washington Street
FREE and Open to the Public
Join the Providence Preservation Society on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, as we welcome speaker Adele Chatfield-Taylor, former President and CEO of the American Academy in Rome, to our 2016 Annual Meeting at the Providence Public Library Auditorium.
Ms. Chatfield-Taylor has an extensive track record in historic preservation, having previously served as a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as Executive Director of the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation. In 2010, she was awarded the Vincent Scully Prize by the National Building Museum.
During the meeting, the Society's 2016 Board of Trustees will be presented to members for a vote. After the meeting, a small reception will be held in the Library.
Advanced registration is required.
RI Hospital's Southwest Pavilion Threatened by Demolition
On TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2015, 4:45 PM in the 1st Floor Meeting Room at444 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island Hospital will again appear before the City Plan Commission - continuing a request to demolish the historic Southwest Pavilion. Located at the heart of the Hospital's campus, the Southwest Pavilion was included on the PPS Most Endangered Properties list in 2010, and stands as one of the only survivors from the original Hospital landscape. Its loss would be devastating to the city's sense of history.
Architectural History of Cooke Street Neighborhood
In 2013 and 2014, historian Kathy Cavanaugh conducted an architectural survey of the Providence neighborhood between Hope, Angell, Governor, and Power Streets. With Cooke Street running through the center of the neighborhood, this twelve block area includes a diversity of architectural styles not seen elsewhere in the State of Rhode Island.
This project has been made possible by a grant from the Archive, Document, Display, and Disseminate (ADDD) Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation, a charitable community trust serving the people of Rhode Island.
Support the Rehab of a West Side Landmark!
After years of vacancy and deterioration, the iconic Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House (1867) is in dire need of repair. We included the "Wedding Cake House" on our Most Endangered Properties list in 2010, 2012, and 2015 and we need your help to secure its future.
Even as the house is for sale, it continues to be vacant and subject to deterioration. Your donation will go directly to the Providence Revolving Fund and be used to stabilize the tower, batten down the roof, reinforce the foundation, keep it secure, and maintain it until a new owner can be found.
Please check out the Indiegogo site to learn about exciting "perks" you can receive for your donation. Give what you can to save this community landmark!
Regular Exhibit Hours:
PPS Announces Spring Programming!
Tours and talks to celebrate 20th Anniversary of Most Endangered Properties Program
Over 20 years ago, PPS announced our first ever Most Endangered Properties List on the steps of the Masonic Temple in Providence. The list was initiated in order to prevent one of the city's greatest assets-its architectural heritage-from disappearing, with a call to action which was intended to promote a community understanding of historic and architectural resources within the city.
Throughout the spring of 2015, PPS will organize a series of engaging programs to highlight the major preservation stories associated with the List's 20 year history. Beginning in April, PPS will host programs at Shepard's Department Store, the Southside Cultural Center (listed as part of Trinity United Methodist Church in 1995), and the Cathedral of St. John to discuss the importance of these venues as hubs of community activity. Weekend tours will explore the North Burial Ground and recent projects in Downtown Providence, including the Arcade and George C. Arnold Building.
Retrospective Photo Exhibit to Explore History of Endangered Properties List
In May, PPS will premier a Twenty Year Retrospective Photography Exhibit at the Peerless Building in Downtown Providence to explore the program's successes, mourn the losses, and highlight sites are still struggling. While the successes outweigh the losses, each loss represents the threats which still face our city's architectural heritage and the continued need for strong advocacy and commitment to the stewardship of our historic treasures. The exhibit will feature work from the List's 20 year history (curated by AS220's Neal Walsh) along with new work by students from AS220 Youth and New Urban Arts. An opening reception will be held on the evening of Thursday, May 21. Look for more information in the coming weeks.
Endangered Properties Blog Explores Sites from Endangered List's History
|Endangered Properties Blog|
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of our Most Endangered Properties (MEP) List, PPS welcomes guest blogger, Caroline Stevens who has challenged herself to journey to 20 of our MEP's in 10 weeks! She's blogging and tweeting her way through. Follow along and share your own thoughts at ppsri.org/mep20 and on twitter (@pvdpreservation) using #mep20.
PPS Releases 2015 Most Endangered Properties List
The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) announced the 2015 Most Endangered Properties (MEP) List at the organization’s Annual Meeting on January 29, featuring historically significant properties deemed in threat of deterioration, neglect and demolition.
In a city known for its extraordinary architecture, many historic buildings are threatened by factors such as neglect, insufficient funds, adverse public policy, and inappropriate development. For 20 years, PPS has been working with concerned neighbors, preservationists, and activists to put together this annual list. In recent years, properties noted on the MEP list have reflected additional threats of the continuing recession: foreclosure, low occupancy, and a lagging market. To raise awareness of these issues, PPS has made its annual MEP list an integral part of the organization’s advocacy efforts.
2015 PPS Ten Most Endangered Properties List (in alphabetical order):
1. Atlantic Mills (1863)
2. Broad Street Synagogue (1910)
3. Cranston Street Armory (1907)
4. Grace Church Cemetery & Cottage (1834)
5. Esek Hopkins House (1756)
6. Former RIDOT Headquarters and Garage (1927)
7. Sheffield Smith House (1855)
8. St. Teresa of Avila Church (1883)
9. Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House (1867)
10. Westminster Congregational Church (1901)
Many properties featured on past Ten Most Endangered Properties Lists have successfully been saved. Formerly listed properties include the Masonic Temple, the Foundry, the Shepard’s Building, and most recently, the Teste Block and Arcade. PPS is also celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the list, and will begin a program series this spring highlighting significant progress over the past two decades.
PPS Annual Meeting
The Providence Preservation Society’s Annual Meeting will be held on the evening of Thursday, January 29th, in the auditorium of the recently-restored Providence Public Library. In addition to the presentation of the 2015 Board of Trustees, PPS will be joined by former Mayor of Pittsburgh Tom Murphy to discuss his extensive experience in urban revitalization.
Currently a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, an international research organization focused on sustainable cities, Mayor Murphy leveraged over $4.5 billion in economic development by crafting effective public-private partnerships during his tenure in Pittsburgh. Since joining ULI in 2006, Murphy has written extensively on the economic impact universities and hospitals have on local economies.
The Annual Meeting will also include a celebration of the Providence Revolving Fund’s 35th Anniversary. Formed by the Providence Preservation Society Board of Trustees in 1980 as a small revolving loan fund focused on the West Side, the Revolving Fund has developed into a national model for community revitalization under the leadership of Executive Director Clark Schoettle. The Revolving Fund now serves low-to-moderate income families in four residential neighborhoods, and operates a Downtown Loan and Grant Program, helping to stimulate a diverse range of projects in Providence’s historic core.
PPS Fall/Winter Newsletter
Click here to see the full issue: Fall 2014 Newsletter (pdf)
2014 Historic Preservation Awards
On Friday, November 7, 2014 the Providence Preservation Society (PPS) will recognize the recipients of the 2014 Historic Preservation Awards. The PPS Historic Preservation Awards recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses that have maintained and enhanced the architectural heritage of Providence through preservation projects and new design. Eight preservation projects located throughout Providence will receive awards.
In addition to those projects receiving awards, PPS is honoring an individual whose vision for preservation transformed the Brown and Sharpe Company manufacturing complex into a thriving mixed use development. The late Antonio Guerra, who passed away on October 11, will receive a posthumous Community Preservation Award. Mr. Guerra purchased the complex shortly after Brown and Sharpe moved out in the 1960s, redeveloping the site’s many industrial buildings into The Foundry Corporate Office Center and Promenade Apartments. Mr. Guerra was previously recognized in the Providence Preservation Society’s 50th Anniversary Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mayoral Candidates Highlight Preservation Policy
As Providence approaches the 2014 Mayoral election, PPS believes that historic preservation should be at the forefront of candidates' policies on economic development and land use. Over the past three months, PPS has met with all current mayoral candidates with conversations touching on economic development, downtown revitalization, demolition policy, and resurrecting the Rhode Island Historic Tax Credit.
Following each meeting, candidates were given short surveys addressing the City's most pressing preservation topics.