PPS Marker Program

As a result of our new strategic plan, Democratizing Preservation, PPS has revised the guidelines of our Marker Program — which for the last 50 years has focused on architectural merit and integrity — and expanded the program to recognize and celebrate cultural and historical significance throughout the city of Providence. We are pleased to relaunch PPS’s most publicly recognizable program and receive applications again.

MARKER APPLICATION

If you have any questions, particularly about our new markers for historical and cultural significance, please contact us. We are happy to explore ideas for these new categories with you and schedule a meeting or site visit. We also have a community fund available to cover the cost of participation in the Marker Program. PPS does not want the cost of the marker to be a barrier to anyone wishing to recognize the history found in Providence. 

Read more about the Marker Guidelines and research process


Program Overview

The PPS Marker Program recognizes buildings and sites within the city of Providence that contribute to the understanding of our unique architectural, historical, and cultural heritage. 

Markers for architectural merit serve to identify individual buildings by date and association (usually the name(s) of the building’s first owner and architect or builder when known) and to encourage the continued care and preservation of buildings throughout Providence’s 25 neighborhoods. Eligible buildings — residential, commercial, and institutional — must be at least 50 years old, retain the integrity of the historic design, and be appropriately and well maintained. 

Our recent expansion of the program opens eligibility to buildings and sites of historical and cultural significance, recognizing that a building may not exist or exhibit architectural integrity but still hold incredible historical or cultural value through association with a person, group, or event.

The expansion of eligibility categories and criteria means that PPS will rely on applicants to provide more information with the application than previously required. The Marker Program guidelines and application detail exactly what information is requested and how to find it. 

Nuts & Bolts

We welcome applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, and our Marker Committee meets quarterly to review them. Applications must be received 10 days before the second Tuesday of March, June, September, and December to be reviewed at the earliest possible meeting.

MARKER APPLICATION

Once the application is approved, the cost of the marker is $300 for members of the Providence Preservation Society and $325 for non-members, which includes a one-year discounted household membership to PPS. The fee represents the cost of the physical marker and a discounted, professionally researched building history, including deed/title research to determine the original owner and construction date for an architectural merit marker. The property owner will receive a copy of the research and a digital copy will be added to our online marker database, The Mary A. Gowdey Library of House Histories.

Because the Marker Program is more than 50 years old, some of the markers out there are in rough shape. We welcome applications for replacement markers. Replacements for markers awarded within the last 20 years cost $150 for PPS members and $175 for the general public. Replacement of markers older than 20 years requires new property research, and applicants will be charged the regular $300/$325 rate.

Please read the Marker Programs Guidelines fully to understand the application process, and then do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

Marker Program Guidelines

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