Rhode Island has a great legacy... of historic and prehistoric sites, structures, and districts. Statewide, over 50,000 structures of historic interest have been identified; of these, about 20,000 meet the criteria for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and the State Register. Archaeological sites representing 10,000 years of Rhode Island history are also numerous: over 2,000 sites are recorded.
These properties constitute a collection of reminders of the way that the state and the country developed. From sites yielding evidence of prehistoric encampments, to eighteenth-century farms, to commercial buildings of the early twentieth century, our history can be traced by what remains on the landscape. The preservation of these remnants helps us to retain our sense of history and community. It also aids in the education of our children and our new residents by showing them, through the history embodied in their everyday surroundings, the depth and breadth of our common heritage.
All of these historical resources, the tangible legacy of our state's past, can be altered or destroyed when local, state, or federal projects go forward without consideration for project impacts to significant historic properties. The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission Project Review System addresses this critical planning need.
For more information about Project Review, email Jeffrey Emidy, or call him at (401)222-4134.