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News: Position Available

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Position Available: Principal Historic Preservation Specialist: Architectural Historian
Salary Range: $53,832 - $60,777

Reply to: Edward F. Sanderson, Executive Director
RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission
150 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903

Application Period: October 20, 2014 to November 10, 2014 or until filled

Description of Duties and Requirements:
The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission is seeking to fill the vacant
position of Principal Architectural Historian. The Principal Architectural Historian performs
studies and analyses data to identify and evaluate historically significant properties. The
Principal Architectural Historian is the lead staff expert in architectural history. Working in
collaboration with the Deputy Director and the Senior Architectural Historian, the position is
responsible for developing and carrying out a program to document, record, and interpret Rhode
Island's buildings that possess historic architectural significance. This position performs
functions mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act and must meet National Park
Service professional qualifications requirements.

Rhode Island has a nationally significant architectural heritage consisting of high style, popular
and vernacular buildings dating from the 17th century through the 20th century. RIHPHC has
published a comprehensive statewide historic resources survey based on information about
50,000 buildings. Approximately 20,000 buildings have been listed on the National Register of
Historic Places and the Rhode Island State Register. Currently the RIHPHC is working to update
and integrate the historic resources computer database with the state's geographic information
system. A second initiative is to inventory and evaluate structures constructed since 1940.
The Principal Architectural Historian works under the supervision of the Deputy Director. The
position performs in-depth studies of historic properties, including research in archives and local
records, site visits and field work, and prepares written identification and evaluation reports with
associated photographic and cartographic documentation. One of the most important of these
work products is a properly documented nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
that meets National Park Service standards. The work may also include initial identification and
preliminary evaluation of historic properties, review and editing of National Register
nominations prepared by others, and field survey and documentation of large geographic areas.
RIHPHC program responsibilities include protection of significant properties through Federal
Section 106 review and Rhode Island state review and comment on public undertakings that may
impact historic resources. In addition, RIHPHC certifies historic structures that apply for
historic rehabilitation tax credits, grants for historic restoration and planning projects, and
RIHPHC provides a wide range of information to the public. Professional and timely
identification and evaluation of historic properties are critical to the functioning of these program
responsibilities that affect approval of the projects of other state and federal agencies,
municipalities, and property owners.

The RIHPHC Principal Architectural Historian works in collaboration with other members of the
RIHPHC professional staff. He or she works closely and maintains strong professional
relationships with municipal and nonprofit historic preservation organizations. He or she also
participates with professional colleagues at academic institutions, public cultural resource firms,
public historians, and others to give recognition and understanding to Rhode Island's heritage.
The Principal Architectural Historian may be called upon to represent the RIHPHC to other
agencies and the public.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: The Principal Architectural Historian must meet or
exceed National Park Service professional requirements for architectural history, and must meet
the requirements of the State job specification for a Principal Historic Preservation Specialist.
He or she must possess a Graduate Degree in American Architectural History or cultural history
as applied to architecturally significant historic buildings; and experience, such as may have been
gained through employment as a Senior Architectural Historian or through considerable
employment in a responsible position in a federal, state, municipal, public or private organization
involving the performance of professional work as an architectural historian; or, any combination
of education and experience that shall be substantially equivalent to the above education and

KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS AND CAPACITIES: Applicants must demonstrate thorough
knowledge of the principles and practices of historic preservation planning, data sources, and
methods of analysis as they relate to architectural history and the ability to apply such knowledge
in the performance of the most difficult and complex professional historic preservation planning
work; a thorough knowledge of the methods and procedures required in order to carry out the
relevant programs of historic preservation planning such as: National Register of Historic Places,
environmental review, grants, or site survey; and the ability to use field work, historical archives,
maps, and photographs to analyze individual buildings or groups of buildings to obtain or verify
information; the ability to understand and carry out complex oral and written instructions; the
ability to plan, coordinate, supervise, review and evaluate the work of professional, technical and
clerical personnel; the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with
federal, state, local, private and public agencies, organizations, and individuals; the ability to
write effectively and to make oral presentations; the ability to engage in field work activities
requiring physical stamina; and related capacities and abilities.

In addition, the following knowledge, expertise, and experience are desirable.
• Knowledge of the architecture and history of Rhode Island and ability to identify and
interpret the significance of specific property types
• Knowledge of historic landscapes
• Experience conducting research using local records including deed histories and
historical maps
• Thorough understanding and experience with federal and state historic preservation laws,
regulations, standards, and guidelines
• Facility in the use of GIS technology
• Ability to work cooperatively and successfully with colleagues, representatives of other
government agencies, property owners, developers, and the public
• Excellent writing, oral communication and photography skills
• Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
• Demonstrated ability to plan, carry out, and complete multifaceted projects involving
different institutions and people