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Local Preservation: Overview

newport hdc brochure
Newport Historic District brochure: Newport is one of 15 communities with local historic district zoning

Community preservation efforts vary from grass-roots coalitions to save a historic property to the creation of institutional and governmental bodies. These organizations include local museums, historical and preservation societies, neighborhood associations, and local historic district commissions that serve cities and towns. While all of these groups may can seek financial and technical assistance from the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, they operate without RIHPHC involvement.

Museums, historical and preservation societies, neighborhood associations, and local historic district commissions differ significantly in their roles in preservation. Museums like Slater Mill are generally centered around a building or group of buildings, or a specific collection of artifacts. Historical societies like the Hopkinton Historical Association are primarily concerned with keeping records of the history of an area through archives of photographs, papers, and artifacts.

Preservation societies like the Providence Preservation Society often focus on advocacy for and education about historic buildings. Neighborhood associations like the West Broadway Neighborhood Association work to improve the quality of life in their areas--often using preservation strategies. For lists of local organizations, see Links.

Eighteen towns and cities in Rhode Island appoint local historic district commissions to oversee changes in sensitive historic areas. For more information about applying for a CLG grant, please email Jeffrey Rosenberg or call him at (401)222-4131. For more information about CLG certification, please email Richard Greenwood or call him at (401)222-2078.