20th Annual Rhode Island Statewide
Saturday, April 23, 2005
PRESERVING HISTORIC HOUSES OF WORSHIP
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 20th Annual Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference.
Looking skyward—to the domes, gables, pinnacles, steeples, and towers of historic houses of worship. Newport provided the ideal place to examine the challenges faced by historic religious properties. It is home to internationally significant landmarks like Touro Synagogue, Trinity Church, and the Great Friends Meeting House, as well as many remarkable buildings cherished by their congregants and neighbors.
The 2005 Conference shed some light on the subject. Conference-goers discovered the expressive architecture of Newport’s religious buildings on walking tours. Partners for Sacred Places led sessions on preservation issues and fundraising strategies. Panelists debated issues relating to government funding of preservation work and provided insight into the latest requirements for fire code compliance. Other panels presented case studies of recent preservation projects and new additions to historic churches.
General preservation topics included cultural landscape projects, dendrochronology (dendro what?), recent preservation tax credit projects, and the State Preservation Grants. And other tours featured a visit to historic burial grounds, a behind-the-scenes tour of the mansions, a stroll by significant African-American sites, a jaunt to Jamestown, and a walk around Washington Square.