Upcoming PPS Events
Join Us at the 37th Festival of Historic Houses! 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... read more
Preservation News Posts
ProJo: Rhode Island Hospital plans to raze 115-year-old Southwest Pavilion, last remaining building from original complex
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!
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.
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.