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Annual Conference | Annual Awards

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

Click here to download the program (pdf format).

The 27th Annual Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference took place 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. Mainlanders and islanders alike took the opportunity to explore Block Island from a historic preservation perspective.

The 2011 conference showcased preservation issues pertinent both to Block Island and to other communities around the state. Attendees discussed efforts to install windmills in historic places, to preserve underwater shipwrecks, and to operate historic hotels. They toured what the Nature Conservancy called one of the “last great places” in the Western Hemisphere. Field trips sampled the island’s landscapes and architecture. Destinations included conservation land and farms, resort hotels and summer cottages, and the island’s two treasured lighthouses, from North to Southeast.

For some, the 2011 conference spanned a weekend.. On Friday, April 29, RIHPHC, Block Island 350, and the Southeast Lighthouse Foundation presented “Portraying Place, Preserving Place: A Block Island Conversation” to discuss the island’s visual character. On Saturday, April 30, we held a day's worth of conference tours and sessions. And on Sunday, May 1, Block Island 350 offered over a dozen open houses and walking tours.