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March Lecture Program Day 2

Friday, 03/19/2010 – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Texaco Station The historic significance of twentieth century buildings of the “recent past” will be explored through an intensive lecture program on Thursday and Friday, March 18 and 19.  The program, 20th Century Buildings of Providence, will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day in the “Old Brick Schoolhouse” located at 24 Meeting Street. Topics and speakers are listed below.

The program’s focus on the “recent past” addresses a growing concern that significant buildings, landscapes, and sites of the Modern movement are underappreciated, making them vulnerable. In collaboration with the city of Providence, the Providence Preservation Society has begun a survey of such resources in Providence. The lecture program will complement that survey.    

Participants who are Rhode Island licensed realtors may earn six Continuing Education credits through the Real Estate Division of the RI Department of Business Regulation. Members of the American Institute for Architects may earn ten Learning Units. 

The program is arranged with morning lectures and afternoon site visits. Lunch is included on both days, as well as morning coffee and pastry. Cost of the two-day lecture program is $100 for members of the Providence Preservation Society. PPS membership information is available at  Rhode Island licensed realtors may register to earn six Continuing Education credits from the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Real Estate Division, and AIA/RI members may register to earn ten learning units  at a cost of $150. 

For more information, contact Kathleen McAreavey, Education Coordinator, by e-mail ( ) or by phone at 401-831-7440, ext. 103, or download a registration form at

Topics include:

Providence in the 20th Century - William McKenzie”Mack” Woodward, Principal Architectural Historian, RIHPHC

Providence Historic District Commission on Preserving the Recent Past -  Jason Martin, Preservation Planner, City of Providence Historic District Commission

Description and Criteria: Survey of Buildings from the Recent Past in Providence -  Ned Connors, Preservation Consultant

A Dedicated Practitioner of Modernism in Providence - Ira Rakatansky, EAIA (lecture and site visit)

Downtown Providence’s Architectural Resources from the Recent Past – Sara C. Emmenecker, Brown University Public Humanities M.A. candidate

How to use the Federal Historic Tax Credit - Roberta Randall, Historic Preservation Specialist/Historical Architect, RIHPHC

The Environmentally Sensible House - Respecting the Past While Incorporating the Best Features of the Future - Christine Malecki West, AIA, Principal, Kite Architects (lecture and site visit)

Biographical information:

William McKenzie Woodward, an architectural historian, is a graduate of Washington & Lee and Brown Universities.  Since 1976, he has served on the staff of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, and is currently Principal Architectural Historian.  His publications include six of the Commission’s surveys of historic resources, scholarly contributions to museum catalogues, and the Society of Architectural Historian’s Rhode Island volume of Buildings in the United States. Woodward extensively lectures about urban and rural topics throughout southern New England.  His work has been nationally recognized, earning awards from the American Association for State and Local History and the Society of Architectural Historians. 

Jason Martin, Principal Planner, Providence Planning Dept., has been with the City for over eight years.  Raised in Providence, he spent four years in the Marine Corps.  He holds a B.A. from Rhode Island College in Art History and History and an M.A. in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Ned Connors received his B.S. in Technology Education at Rhode Island College and an M.A. in American Studies from Brown University.  A Preservation Consultant since 1994, he has conducted architectural surveys throughout Rhode Island.

Ira Rakatansky received his B.A from the Rhode Island School of Design and his M. Arch from Harvard University, having studied under Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. An upcoming book, Ira Rakatansky: Rhode Island Modern, will document houses and public buildings built 1946-1965 in an otherwise traditionalist part of New England. Mr. Rakatansky's work represents the skillful adaptation of an originally European Modernism to American conditions and culture, for a client base that was new to architectural patronage. During this  period , he was the only practitioner consistently committed to Modernism in the Providence area. During program attendees’ visit to his studio, Mr. Rakatansky will discuss his philosophy and present images of some of his work, including the adaptive reuse of his studio.  Assumed by many to be a building from the 1950s, it was actually built circa 1925 and modernized in the Rakatansky style.

Sara C. Emmenecker is a Master’s Candidate in Public Humanities at Brown University.  Her focus area is transportation and its effect on changes to the landscape.  She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies at Brown and was the Director of Preservation and Advocacy Services at the Providence Preservation Society for three years.

Roberta Randall Roberta Randall received her BFA and B.Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design as well as a BS in Historic Preservation from Roger Williams University.  She has worked with the RIHPHC for the last 16 years as one of the architects reviewing and advising on historic preservation projects, both incentive program projects and regulatory review projects throughout the state. Prior to coming to Rhode Island, she was in private practice with a Historic Preservation Architect for 10 years.

Christine Malecki West, AIA, Principal, Kite Architects, is currently President-Elect of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Providence Revolving Fund and the Providence Preservation Society.  She sits on the Providence Downcity Design Review Committee. Ms. West earned her B.Arch. from Carnegie Mellon University and her M.Des.S. from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.


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