In 2008, everyone who registered for the Annual RI Statewide Preservation Conference was asked seven questions about their experiences and expectations for the field. All of the answers compiled by April 5 were compiled and presented as a series of posters. To download a pdf of each poster, click on the question below:
1. What is your favorite historic place in Rhode Island?
There were numerous answers to this question, ranging from buildings to landscapes to villages to cities. Among the favorite historic places are Newport, College Hill, Colt State Park, Fort Adams, Roger Williams Park and Zoo, Bristol, Gilbert Stuart Birthplace, and the Providence Athenaeum.
2. What is the most significant lost building or landscape of RI?
The very recent demolition of the Providence Fruit and Produce Warehouse was first in people's minds. Other popular answers included Rocky Point, the Trolley Barn/Narragansett Brewery facility in Cranston, and notably Bristol's W.G. Low House, designed by McKim, Mead, and White in 1887.
3. What is the most significant preservation accomplishment in RI (specific legislation, restoration project, land purchase, etc.)?
Answers to this question included historical achievements like the preservation of Benefit Street and the establishment of Historic District Commissions (which began in 1959), as well as recent activities such as the creation of preservation tax credits and the long-awaited rehabilitation of Masonic Temple, completed in 2007.
4. Have you helped to preserve a building or landscape in RI? Which?
RI is a state of historic homeowners. The top answer in this category was "my house," followed by Newport Mansions and "many." Scores of other answers included the Blackstone Canal, Warwick historic cemeteries, and Portsmouth Abbey.
5. Whose contributions to historic preservation in RI deserve more recognition?
Perhaps because historic preservation is such a grass-roots effort, this question was hard to answer and didn't inspire as many responses as the others. Answers included groups of people, organizations, and individuals, such as Homeowners, Ted Sanderson, People of Smith's Castle, and RIHPHC. Another popular answer: "everyone!"
6. What is the most important issue for historic preservation in RI in the next 10 years?
Again, recent events loomed large. Dozens of responders were concerned with the fate of the state's historic preservation tax credit program, followed by open space/green space; demolition; public education/awareness; energy; coastal issues; and preserving the recent past.
7. What is a preservation goal for your community, the state, or the country?
Many themes echoed the answers given for question 6. Among the most frequent goals expressed were: "preserve the preserved," "more people preserving," new historic district commissions (particularly for Cranston's Pawtuxet Village and Woonsocket), preservation tax credits, and open space/green space preservation.