RIHPHC Bulletin

Progress report:

Wickford Elementary School

Wickford Elementary School,

then and now

Wickford Elementary School was erected in 1907 to serve young students in North Kingstown. This 2 1/2-story, hip-roof, brick Colonial Revival building is a contributing resource in the Wickford Historic District, listed in the National Register in 1974. The school closed in 2005. And waited and waited.

Fast forward to 2023. The developers of the former Wickford Elementary School (also known as "Wickford El") will pursue State and Federal preservation tax credits for a rehab/reuse project. RIHPHC is working with the developer and design team to ensure compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The new design will also have to meet requirements of the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council.

This long-anticipated project aims to transform classrooms and cafeterias to 34 apartments. School's out. Reuse is in. Class dismissed.

Rhode Island Cemetery Weeks 2023

Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Awareness and Preservation Weeks returns this spring. RIHPHC and R.I. Advisory Commission on Historical Cemeteries (RIACHC) are preparing a calendar of events, including clean-ups, walking tours, monument cleaning workshops, talks, and more. The calendar will launch later this month.

We are very excited to feature some past favorites and introduce you to new sites.

Do you want to host an event? It's not too late to propose a program or clean-up.

Meanwhile at the State House

Enter the Rhode Island State House (1895-1904) from Smith Street, and you will pass through a three-bay entrance pavilion topped by a balcony supported by four scrolled marble corbels. When a piece of a corbel detached and fell last spring, RIHPHC worked with the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance and the design team on an approach to solve the problem. The original corbels--which had been repaired in the 1970s and the 1980s--were removed.

Four new Georgia marble corbels were carved to replicate the original design by architects McKim, Mead, and White. And they were installed in place with additional flashing that should prevent the type of water damage that had caused the problem in the first place.

Take an in-person or virtual tour from the Department of State to learn more about this remarkable building.

Replacement corbel to be installed in one of the pockets highlighted above

RIHPHC Seeks Candidates for Deputy Director

The Deputy Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission will be responsible for the planning and implementation of federal and state legislation, programs, and projects; will act with the full authority of the Executive Director in their absence; will serve as Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer; and will do related work as required. The posting closes 3/8/23.

For additional requirements and information about how to apply, please visit the State of Rhode Island Career Pages.

Great State Properties:

Civilian Conservation Corps

Between 1933 and 1942, thousands of young Rhode Island men enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), joining a federal work relief program to improve America's public lands, forests, and parks. In addition to landscaping projects, Rhode Island's CCC constructed a variety of amenities on State land, including picnic groves, a children's camp, visitors' centers, hiking shelters, pavilions, wells/pump houses, bubblers, fire towers, and miles of roads and trails.

Several CCC-built structures endure as legacies of this New Deal program in Rhode Island. You'll find them in park and management areas and along roadsides. Have you picnicked in this pavilion in Exeter's Arcadia Wildlife Management Area, or cooked out at Haines Memorial State Park in Barrington? Time for an outing!

To learn more about the CCC in Rhode Island, stop by Small State Big History for an article by Leo Caisse. And visit our website to learn more about State-owned Historic Properties and RIHPHC’s regulatory review role

Arcadia shelter (Christian McBurney/ Small State Big History); Haines Park fireplace (Visit Rhode Island)

Spring grant opportunities and deadlines

Explore these opportunities to secure funding for your preservation project:

Consult our website for more grant sources.

Heritage Happenings for December

Have an upcoming event to share? Contact Donna Alqassar, Heritage Coordinator. For the latest listings, follow @rihphc_heritage on Instagram.

Find the Heritage Festival on YouTube

Rhode Island's 44th Heritage Festival's performances can now be viewed on our YouTube channel.

▶️ YouTube Playlist: bit.ly/44thHeritageFestival

View the trailer to get a glimpse

of all the fantastic performances!

2022 RI's 44th Heritage Festival - Trailer

If you didn't follow us on social media last month, you missed...

  • much more!

RIHPHC at work

The R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission office is open with limited staffing during weekday business hours (9am - 4pm). Many staff members are teleworking and accessible by email. Public access is limited to deliveries and pickups. Please use the doorbell at the Benefit Street entrance.

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