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Annual Conference: Overview

The 26th Annual RI Statewide Historic Preservation Conference
ocean view hotel

Destination Block Island:
Tourism and Community in a Historic Place

Saturday, April 30, 2011 with additional events on Friday + Sunday
Block Island

>>Programs available now: use links in right menu, or download a pdf copy of the program<<

Pack your bags! The 26th Annual Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference is headed overseas. Twelve miles off the mainland, Block Island beckons as both a historic vacation spot and a tight-knit community. Grand hotels, well-preserved summer cottages, walking trails, historic sites, and attractive beaches appeal to visitors. Meanwhile locals keep the businesses humming, preserve local landmarks, and conserve open space – more than 43% of the island is protected. Whether you are an islander or a mainlander, you won’t want to miss the chance to explore Block Island from a historic preservation perspective.

The 2011 conference will showcase preservation issues pertinent both to Block Island and to other communities around the state. Discuss efforts to install windmills in historic places, to preserve underwater shipwrecks, and to operate historic hotels. Don’t miss the opportunity to tour what the Nature Conservancy called one of the “last great places” in the Western Hemisphere. Field trips will sample the island’s landscapes and architecture. Destinations include conservation land and farms, resort hotels and summer cottages, and the island’s two treasured lighthouses, from North to Southeast.

This year, we invite you to spend the day – or two or three. On Friday, April 29, attend “Portraying Place, Preserving Place: A Block Island Conversation” to discuss the island’s visual character. On Saturday, April 30, participate in the many tours and sessions presented at the conference. On Sunday, May 1, explore the island on your own, or seek out some of the additional activities being offered.

Or you might just want to stay the whole year. Rhode Island’s preservation conference is but one event in a year-long celebration of Block Island’s 350th anniversary. In 1661, sixteen families from Massachusetts arrived on the North End of the island – near Settlers’ Rock (erected 1911). The Town’s Block Island 350th Anniversary Committee is coordinating a calendar of special events that features a celebration of Founders Day on Saturday, June 18. For more information, visit www.blockisland350.com