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2017 Providence Symposium - Sites and Stories: Mapping a Preservation Ecosystem

from 10/18/2017 to 10/21/2017

2017 Providence Symposium: October 18 and 21

Having just celebrated its 50th anniversary, the field of historic preservation is in a period of self-examination and cultural evolution mirroring that of the larger, increasingly heterogeneous society. Organizations like PPS, which were started to preserve a particular built environment representing a particular history of our city, now study, document and advocate on behalf of buildings, blocks and histories that represent a much fuller panoply of the decades, cultures and people that together make up Providence. As the field of preservation has widened its scope, it has had to embrace the conflicts that arise from "competing" histories of a building or area over time. The 2017 Providence Symposium will start with the idea that we need to map out a preservation ecosystem, one that allows for development of shared purpose, and creation of shared opportunity, and that includes discussion of both the economics and the ethics of preservation. 

We will look to national leaders on such issues as the evolution of preservation-inclusive planning, community development/preservation partnerships, new concepts in historic memory/marker projects and excavating "lost" histories to strengthen communities and create ties across cultures. We will use our learning as a lens through which to examine some of the key issues in Providence right now: the crisis of owner neglect on Benefit Street; expansion on College Hill; Brown's Performing Arts Center; the history of displaced communities, including Lippitt Hill, Fox Point, the area around Cathedral Square and the future of the Industrial Trust building. 

Join PPS for the opportunity to participate in vital discussions which will map out a preservation ecosystem that will help to navigate conflicting histories, and will better determine the future of preservation in Providence.

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