Pride in Preservation:
Saturday, April 26, 2014
More than 530 people attended the 29th Annual R.I. Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in Warren on Saturday, April 29. An inspiring address by public health and planning expert Mark Fenton started the day off on the right foot. And the event ended a gracious Closing Reception at the newly restored Warren Armory. For more highlights, please see press coverage and video footage:
Hundreds flock to Warren for preservation conference (Warren Times-Gazette, Weds., April 30, 2014)
Public health and community design in the mix at R.I. preservation conference (Providence Journal, Sun., April 27, 2014)
"Historic Preservation Conference Warren RI April 26 2014" includes Opening Session featuring keynote speaker Mark Fenton (video by David Weed of the Warren Conservation Commission)
"Historic Preservation Conference Walking Tour on April 26 2014"--featuring Patricia Read's "Small Gems of Warren" tour (video by David Weed)
Statewide leaders and mom-and-pop shopkeepers are urging Rhode Islanders to take pride in the local and homegrown. “Rhode Island: It’s All in Our Backyard” proclaims a recent statewide media campaign created by the Rhode Island Foundation. Preservationists get the message. After all, historic preservation is all about taking pride in local places and working to reuse, restore, and interpret. And where better to talk about pride of place than Warren? Its citizens and business leaders rallied to preserve the working waterfront. Homeowners and government officials developed a voluntary historic district and a demolition ordinance to protect historic properties. Artists, shopkeepers, and entrepreneurs have established Warren as a creative and cultural hub in the East Bay. There is a lot to be proud of in the smallest town in the smallest county in the smallest state in the nation.
Sessions about historic preservation tax credits, a new bond issue for arts and cultural facilities, community preservation education, and social media demonstrated how to be more effective advocates for preservation. Discussions about saving Warren’s working waterfront, the archaeology of Burr’s Hill, and historic cemetery landscapes provided examples of successful preservation efforts and introduced resources for a range of projects.
And the tours? Conference-goers kicked up their heels as they marched down Warren’s Main Street, discovered its arts district, and walked along Water Street and the working waterfront. The pedaled south to Bristol and north to Barrington and East Providence on the East Bay Bicycle Path. They cruised on a boat past wharves, industrial sites, residential enclaves, and parks along the water’s edge. They explored the legacy of renowned local architect Russell Warren and the beauties of suburban Barrington. We all can beat a drum, toot your own horn, and take pride in preservation!