Before the grant: Southeast Light, Block Island
In 2002, 2004, and 2014, Rhode Island voters approved bond issues to fund a historic preservation grant program operated by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (“RIHPHC” or “the Commission”) to fund capital preservation for renovation projects at public historic sites, museums, and cultural art centers located in historic structures in the State of Rhode Island.
The State Preservation Grants Program was created because state lawmakers and voters recognized that many significant properties controlled by public agencies and non-profit organizations need extensive repairs or restoration; that it is essential to preserve landmarks that embody our heritage; and that arts, culture, and civic organizations face unique challenges in updating their historic facilities for new audiences and programs. Preserving these particular landmarks—theatres, museums, concert halls, dance spaces, art centers, public historic sites—contributes to the quality of life in Rhode Island and insures that our arts, culture, and civic facilities continue to inspire new generations. Moreover, historic preservation creates jobs, stimulates tourism, educates us about the past, revitalizes our downtowns and neighborhoods, and combats sprawl in rural places.
The State Preservation Grants Program is a matching grant program. It promotes careful planning for the restoration, rehabilitation, and preservation of a variety of historic resources around the state. Through its matching requirements, the program stimulates broader support and participation in historic preservation projects statewide.
Between 2003 and 2007, RIHPHC ran five grant rounds and awarded $6 million to 86 sites in 27 cities and towns. The Commission is preparing to relaunch the State Preservation Grant program in 2015.
For more information or to be notified when applications are available, email Sarah Zurier, or call her at (401)222-4142.