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We Did It! Now What?

We did it! Together we explored 20 buildings from PPS’s Most Endangered Properties program in 10 weeks.You shared your knowledge, thoughts, memories, hopes and dreams for each of these buildings. And it was this community collaboration that made the MEP20 project successful and so much fun. Thank you!

The truth is, there aren’t just 20 buildings on the MEP list. Built over the course of twenty years, there are now 94 buildings on the list. A large number of those buildings have been saved, some have been lost, and 34 buildings continue to struggle. That’s a large number. And that brings me to the biggest lesson I learned in leading the MEP20 project: the process that goes into saving our endangered properties is fraught with challenges, and the amazing staff of PPS can’t possibly handle the job of fighting for these buildings alone. It takes a community working together to succeed in preserving the assets of our built environment. So if you aren’t already, please consider becoming a member of PPS to support the great work they do.

Cranston St. Armory (Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Or maybe you can do even more! I’ve come to know many people in the past several weeks who have put preservation first. I met Kari Lang, of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, who led a fight to save Grove St. School, and now she is leading another to save the Cranston St. Armory (JOIN IT!). Adam Bush is helping lead an effort to restore the Broad St. Synagogue and facilitate an ongoing community conversation on how this building might be re-purposed. MEP20 introduced me to Lori Quinn, who with her partner David Stem, saw an opportunity in a building only 12.5ft wide, and soon the George C. Arnold building will re-open looking better than ever. I could go on and on. Consider what YOU can do to join this group of preservation superstars.

Start by checking out this year’s MEP list. Share it with your friends and families. Are there buildings in your neighborhood you’re concerned about that you don’t see on this list? Bring them to PPS’s attention by filling out this form. Most importantly, continue the conversation! I’m now returning the control of the twitter account to the awesome staff of PPS, and they want to hear from you! Keep sharing your preservation knowledge, thoughts, concerns, hopes and dreams with PPS and the broader Providence community on twitter @pvdpreservation and facebook.

ppsexhibit One last thing! Curious how I picked the 20 buildings for the MEP20 challenge? They were picked for me. All of the buildings we’ve explored these past 10 weeks are featured in a Twenty Year Retrospective Photography Exhibit at the Peerless Building in Downtown Providence, which opened Thursday, May 28. Hope to see you there!

Okay folks! Over and Out! I’ll see you around town. — Caroline