Click on the tabs to view program descriptions.

We will update the website within 24 hours of an event selling out.
Additional spots in SOLD OUT sessions may open up due to cancellations.

As of 4/1, spaces remain available in A1-A4, A7, B1-B4, B6, B8-B10, C1-C4.
The following sessions are SOLD OUT: A5, A6, A8, A9, B5, B7, C5.

8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

On-site registration and Exhibits
in the Dining Hall, Masonic Grand Lodge, 222 Taunton Ave., East Providence.

Coffee and pastries available until 9:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Opening Session
at Haven United Methodist Church, 200 Taunton Ave., East Providence

Welcoming cheers!
The East Providence High School Cheerleading Squad (The Townies)

Greetings from

Senator William J. Conley, Jr. (East Providence, Pawtucket)

Mayor Roberto DaSilva, City of East Providence

Ruth Taylor, R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission Chair and Executive Director, Newport Historical Society

Jim Hibbert, Basketball Coach and Sexton, Haven United Methodist Church

Preserving the Power of Place: A Stewardship Vision for Sites of Sports History and Activism

Brent Leggs, Executive Director of the National African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Introduced by J. Paul Loether, Executive Director, R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

Our nation is engaged in a critical dialogue about how to represent our collective past in our culture and public spaces. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has joined the conversation with the creation of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund – a $25,000,000 campaign to elevate the role of cultural preservation in telling the remarkable stories of African American activism, achievement, and community. Envisioned as a movement for justice and equity, the Action Fund is empowering activists and diverse communities to advocate on behalf of America’s historic places. From Joe Frazier’s Gym in Philadelphia (ca. 1895) to Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey (1932-33), this movement is shifting the national conversation about historical significance and is creating new models for the stewardship of sites important to the history of sports and social justice.

Brent Leggs is the Executive Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. A Harvard University Loeb Fellow and author of Preserving African American Historic Places (2012), he led efforts to create the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, which President Barack Obama designated in January 2017. Other campaign successes include preserving iconic spaces like Joe Frazier’s Gym; Hinchliffe Stadium; Villa Lewaro, the estate of Madam C.J. Walker in Irvington, New York; A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham; and Nina Simone’s birthplace in Tryon, North Carolina. Brent is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and the 2018 recipient of the Robert G. Stanton national preservation award.

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Click on the tabs for a description of each session. Locations t.b.a.
These sessions return for lunch at Dining Hall, Masonic Grand Lodge.

A1 The Struggle for Civil Rights in 20th-Century Rhode Island

Geralyn Ducady, Director of the Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs, RIHS
Joanna Doherty and Sarah Zurier, Historians, RIHPHC
Laura Kline and Gretchen Pineo, Architectural Historians, PAL
Brent Leggs, Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Onna Moniz-John, Creator, Mobile Museum of Black Artifacts
Dr. Isadore “Izzy” Ramos, former Mayor of East Providence
Keith Stokes, Project Consultant, RI Black Heritage Society
Theresa Guzman Stokes, Managing Director, RI Black Heritage Society

A statewide project to uncover the history of African Americans’ struggle for Civil Rights in 20th-century Rhode Island is recording oral histories, documenting historic sites, creating curricula, and developing interpretative exhibits. Join project partners and the Keynote Speaker for this special session that features two of East Providence’s Civil Rights leaders and a visit to Onna’s mobile museum.

A2 History on Two Wheels: Bicycling and Historic Preservation

Trudy Coxe, CEO, The Preservation Society of Newport County
Bari Freeman, Executive Director, Bike Newport
C.J. Opperthauser, Training Manager, Grow Smart Rhode Island and Co-organizer of Tour de Tentacle
Eric Weis, AICP, LCI, President, Cogent

In May 1880, hundreds of cyclists thronged the streets of Newport to launch a national advocacy organization, the League of American Wheelmen. Today, Newport, Providence, and other historic American cities are implementing policies that promote bicycling for transportation, recreation, and tourism. From bike share to infrastructure planning to H.P. Lovecraft-themed tours, learn how bicycling and historic preservation are mutually beneficial strategies for urbanism.

A3 Playful Programs

Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director, Rhode Island Council on the Humanities
Tanya Kelley, RIHPHC Commissioner and Principal, Place Studio Landscape Design
Lorén Spears, Executive Director, Tomaquag Museum
Carrie Taylor, Director, Lippitt House Museum

A theatrical installation that engages museum visitors to use all their senses. Game playing, storytelling, and hiking. Large-scale modern sculpture in historic landscapes. Virtual reality and online environments. Pick up tips on how to shake up museum experiences by focusing on fun, folly, and physical activity.

A4 Planning for Preservation

Jeffrey Emidy, Deputy Director, RIHPHC
J. Paul Loether, Executive Director, RIHPHC
Kaity Ryan, RIHPHC Commissioner and Deputy Chief of Staff, The Preservation Society of Newport County
Valerie Talmage, Executive Director, Preserve Rhode Island

Come one, come all! RIHPHC seeks your input as we prepare to update the State Historic Preservation Plan. This public forum introduces the Plan reviews what we must cover and asks for your input about what we should cover. What are Rhode Island’s goals for historic preservation in the next five years? Topics may include archaeology; financial incentives; heritage; historic district zoning; and other issues you bring to the conversation. Audience participation is not just encouraged; it is essential.

SOLD OUT A5 East Providence Center Tour (walk)

David Bachrach, Coordinator, Community Development Office, City of East Providence
Stephen Greenleaf, Principal, Greenleaf Architectural Design
Patrick Hanner and James Moran, Principal Planners, City of East Providence
Richard W. Lynch, Curator/Librarian, Grand Lodge of Rhode Island
Joyce May, Assistant Director, East Providence Public Library
Ronald J. Onorato, Honors Professor of Art History, URI

With the opening of the new Town Hall in 1889 at the corner of Taunton and Grove Avenues, East Providence marked the center of a rapidly growing town of farms, factories, summer resorts, and suburban homes. This tour will review the history and development of “The Center” and visit some of its key historic buildings: the post office (1936) with its WPA murals (1939), Weaver Library (1938), Weaver House (ca. 1868), City Hall (1979—which replaced Town Hall), and the Masonic Grand Lodge (ca. 1926).

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Lunch for participants on A1-A5 at the Dining Hall, Masonic Grand Lodge.

11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Click on the tabs for a description of each tour.
These tours are 2 hours long and include lunch during the tour.

SOLD OUT A6 Pomham Rocks Lighthouse Tour (boat/site visit)

David Kelleher, Founding Member, Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse

Visit Pomham Rocks Lighthouse (1871) with members of the devoted volunteer crew who led its award-winning restoration. In addition to learning lighthouse history, explore the building and discuss its preservation inside and out from the basement to the lantern. Plus, explore a bit of the upper Bay on your way. Dress warmly!

Box lunches will be served on the boat.

A7 Court Time: Tennis History and Stewardship Tour (bus/walk)

Tom Brun, Owner, The Indoor Tennis Court
Heather Fowler, Management Team, Agawam Hunt
Doug Stark, Museum Director, International Tennis Hall of Fame

A single indoor tennis court, privately owned and in continuous use by local kids, pros, and regulars for over a century. A historic country club with an extensive campus that includes indoor and outdoor tennis courts, as well as a 19th-century barn fit out with squash courts. Visit these facilities for insights on tennis history, social history, and stewardship.

Tour includes lunch at Agawam Hunt.

SOLD OUT A8 The “Coney Island of the East” Tour (bus/site visit)

Donna Houle, Special Projects Manager, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council
Ed Serowik, Caretaker, Crescent Park Carousel

East Providence once boasted four major amusement parks from Rumford to Riverside. Ed Serowik, who has worked at Crescent Park since 1948, will share histories of the four parks at this unique on-site session held at Crescent Park Carousel (1895). Ed will be joined by Donna Houle to discuss Rhode Island’s two surviving carousels designed by master craftsman Charles I.D. Looff, here and at Slater Park (1895). Step right up for a visit with Rhode Island’s carousel horse whisperer at this classic carousel.

Tour includes lunch at the carousel.

SOLD OUT A9 From “Ring of the Green” to Rumford Center Tour (bus/walk)

Barbara Barnes, Resident, Rumford Center
Nancy Godfray, Historian, Newman Congregational Church
Roberta Randall, Architect, RIHPHC
Jordan Stone and Colin Kane, Owners, Rumford Center
Jennifer Wilson, Assistant Director of the Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs, RIHS

Discover the history of a most uncommon Rhode Island town center, Rumford’s 17th-century “Ring of the Green.” Visit the former Rumford Chemical Works (ca. 1857-1928), which has been revitalized as a mixed-use community known as Rumford Center. With its shops, apartments, offices, and restaurants, this award-winning preservation project feels like a village within a village. The tour concludes with a brief talk at Newman Congregational Church (1810, 1890).

Tour includes lunch at the church.

2:00 – 3:15 p.m.

Click on the tabs for a description of each session.

B1 Rhode Island’s Wide World of Sports

Robert Cvornyek, Professor of History, Rhode Island College
C. Morgan Grefe, Executive Director, Rhode Island Historical Society
Silvermoon LaRose, Assistant Director, Tomaquag Museum
Richard Ring, Deputy Executive Director for Collections and Interpretation, RIHS

Spanning Rhode Island to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat…the human drama of athletic competition…This is Rhode Island’s Wide World of Sports. Our program profiles elite long-distance runner Tarzan Brown (1913-1975) in the context of Indigenous running and athletic traditions; examines the history and spectacle of Pawtucket’s Narragansett Race Track; and profiles the Providence Steam Roller football team. Share your sports history insights with our experts at this live presentation.

B2 Endless Summer: Country Clubs, History, and Sustainability

Scott Comings, Associate State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island
John Grosvenor, AIA, Principal, Newport Collaborative Architects
Lance Pryor, Management Team, Agawam Hunt
Jack Renshaw, Principal, Clifford M. Renshaw Architects

Country clubs may be bastions of tradition, but their leaders are taking innovative approaches to organizational and environmental sustainability. Last year, Agawam Hunt (founded 1897) sold development rights to 82 acres of its East Providence golf course, conserving the land and committing to environmentally friendly landscape practices. In Narragansett, the Dunes Club (1928) is exploring design solutions to protect its beachfront campus from coastal flooding. Join us to talk about sustainability—and sports history—at historic clubs.

B3 Roadside/Dockside: Architecture on the Road

Christopher Martin, Curator of
David Norton Stone, Food Historian
Elizabeth D. Warburton, Architectural Historian, RIHPHC

Take a trip with us to learn about recreation on the road, from quintessentially Rhode Island clam shacks to motels, mini-golf, and mimetic architecture. The authors of Rhode Island Clam Shacks (2017), Christopher Martin and David Stone, will explore the customs and structures that have developed around the enjoyment of local steamers and quahogs, from fashionable clubs like the Squantum Association to the take-out windows of vernacular clam shacks like Aunt Carrie’s. Elizabeth Warburton will place Rhode Island’s 20th-century roadside architecture in a national context and discuss the impact of the automobile on our built environment.

B4 The Archaeology of Green Jacket Shoal

David Robinson, Marine Archaeologist, University of Rhode Island
Charlotte Taylor, Archaeologist, RIHPHC

The shores of East Providence once supported a vibrant working waterfront, bustling with industrial and recreational vessels. Remains of this history survive at the ship graveyard of Green Jacket Shoal, where at least 29 ships, including two of Rhode Island’s best-known excursion steamships, were abandoned. Hear from archaeologists who are uncovering information about the heyday of the steamship era when Narragansett Bay served as both playground and thoroughfare.

You can follow this session with the C5 boat tour of Green Jacket Shoal.

SOLD OUT B5 Cape Verdean Museum Tour (bus/museum visit)

Joe DaMoura, President, Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit
Virginia Gonsalves, Education Committee, Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit
Yvonne Smart, Education Coordinator, Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit

In 2005, the doors opened at the first museum in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating the history and culture of Cape Verde and Cape Verdean Americans. Visit the exhibits, which “like Cape Verdeans themselves, cover a lot of territory” from centuries-old history of the islands to stories of migration and creating new lives in America. And explore collections relating to community leaders including elite athletes George Araujo and Demetrius “BooBoo” Andrade (boxing), Bernie “Slick” Pina (football), George De Pina (golf), and Davey Lopes (baseball).

B6 East Bay Bike Path Tour (bike)

Glenn Modica, Project Review Coordinator, RIHPHC
Johanna Walczak, Planner, City of East Providence

Experience Rhode Island’s most popular bike trail and the only one inducted in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Learn how the former Providence & Bristol Railroad corridor was transformed into a scenic and picturesque route with views of Narragansett Bay and the Providence skyline. Use your senses as we explore the diversity of historic, cultural, and natural resources along the route and identify future planning projects to further enhance the path. Don’t forget your helmet!

SOLD OUT B7 Development and Recreation on the Waterfront Tour (boat)

Kevin Klyberg, Park Ranger, Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
Pamela Sherrill, AICP
, Executive Director, East Providence Waterfront Commission

Established by the State in 2003, the East Providence Waterfront Commission facilitates revitalization of 300 acres along a portion of the city’s 14-mile coastline. This tour will focus on development projects along the Seekonk River, including historic Phillipsdale Landing and Waterfront Drive. And look out for recreational uses, including the Narragansett Boat Club (the country’s oldest, founded in 1838), the new concert facility at Bold Point Park, as well as boat ramps and public access on the Seekonk and upper Narragansett Bay.

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Break for attendees in Sessions B1 – B7

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Click on the tabs for a description of each tour. These tours are 3 hours long.
If you choose one of these tours, you will not be able to select a C session as well.

B8 John Hunt House and Hunt’s Mills Historic Landscape Hike (bus/hike)

Ernie Germani, East Providence Conservation Commission (EPCC) Member and Founder of Trails and Walks in Rhode Island
Keith Gonsalves, EPCC Chair and Ten Mile River Watershed Council President
Timothy Ives, Archaeologist, RIHPHC
Nancy Moore and Cheryl Faria, Co-Chairs, East Providence Historical Society (EPHS)

Experience four centuries of history on a tour of the John Hunt House and a ¾-mile hike. Originally a Native American fishing station, the bend in the river at Hunt’s Mills attracted a series of mills from the 17th century until the site was cleared for a pumping station in 1893. The John Hunt House (ca. 1750), fieldstone walls, and a root cellar recall distant generations, while traces of the Hunt’s Mills Amusement Park (ca. 1893-1925) and personal messages chiseled into the riverbank speak from living memory’s edge. Other stops include EPHS’s new Education Center and a fish ladder that is key to river restoration.

B9 Riverside Ramble Tour (bus/walk)

Kathy Cavanaugh, Preservation Consultant
David Kelleher, Riverside Resident and East Providence Historic District Commission Member
Jason Rafferty, Director, Riverside Renaissance Movement

Over the course of three centuries, the Riverside area transformed from a sparsely populated rural farming community, to a vibrant summer resort, to a year-round suburban residential neighborhood. Tour highlights include the storied Looff Carousel at Crescent Park (1895) and revitalization efforts underway at Riverside Square. We will also discuss Little Neck Cemetery (1655) and two National Register Historic Districts featuring Bungalows, Colonial Revival and English Cottage style houses built in the early to mid-20th century.

B10 Phillipsdale: “A Magic Village” Tour (bus/walk)

Ned Connors, Preservation Consultant

In the spring of 1636, until Massachusetts Bay Colony drove him further west, Roger Williams was here—launching his new settlement by a freshwater spring across from current-day Omega Pond. The place we now call Phillipsdale would eventually develop around the thriving late-19th-century plants of the Richmond Paper Company, American Electrical Works and Washburn Wire Company. By 1907, a feature article in the Providence Journal called Phillipsdale a “magic village.” Join us for a magical tour of industrial architecture, factory housing, railroad bridges, enterprising businesses, and traces of Roger Williams.

3:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Click on the tabs for a description of each session.

C1 Extra Innings: In Search of Historic Baseball Venues

Robert Cvornyek, Professor of History, Rhode Island College
Jay Hurd, Baseball Historian and Librarian
Francis J. Leazes, Jr., Professor and Director of Public Administration Program, Rhode Island College
Jeffrey Staats, AIA, AICP, Professor of Architecture, Roger Williams University

As baseball grew popular in the decades after the Civil War, ballfields sprouted up across Rhode Island. Providence hosted a minor league team by 1877, the old Basin near Newport’s Long Wharf was used as a sandlot by 1894, and Blackstone Valley mill owners sponsored teams through 1955. New research has discovered a network of ballfields, revealing how they were used by local teams and barnstormers (including Negro leagues and women’s teams), and recognizing their place in the social history of our state. We will take a special look at Cardines Field, built on that Newport sandlot in 1908 and still in use today.

C2 Newport’s Playground: The Architecture of Recreation at the Newport Casino

Ross Cann, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, A4 Architecture + Planning
Douglas Stark, Museum Director, International Tennis Hall of Fame
Martha Werenfels, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, DBVW Architects

Since it first opened in the summer of 1880 as an elite sporting and social club, the Newport Casino has been the destination for players and fans of tennis. Panelists will discuss the ongoing preservation and evolving use of this National Historic Landmark complex. Topics include the curious architecture of the Casino’s court tennis facility (inspired by medieval monastery courtyards); restoration projects from the Casino Theatre to the Horseshoe Piazza; and new interpretative strategies at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

C3 Recreation and Conservation in East Providence’s Historic Landscapes

Diane Feather, AICP, Acting Planning Director, City of East Providence
Tim Gerrish, RLA, Principal, Gardner + Gerrish Landscape Architects
Elena M. Pascarella, RLA, Principal, Landscape Elements, LLC

With its long coastline, parks and ballfields, bike trails, country clubs, and protected land, East Providence offers many opportunities for recreation, for preservation of historic landscapes, and for open space conservation. Speakers will discuss strategies for connecting resources, building public-private partnerships to improve sites like Bold Point Park, and plans to reintroduce swimming at Sabin Point Park. A special look at golf landscapes will consider the historic significance of courses designed by Donald Ross, sustainability at Agawam Hunt and Metacomet, and the future of golf.

C4 A Classroom the Size of Rhode Island: New Preservation Research

Rachel Alison, Marjorie Drew, and Matthew McCarty, Graduate Students, Roger Williams University
Carolina Aubin
and Delaney Daly, Undergraduate Students, Salve Regina University
Kenna Libes, Graduate Student, Brown University
Jeroen van den Hurk, Assistant Professor of Cultural and Historic Preservation, Salve Regina University

Undergraduate and graduate students are pursuing innovative research projects that push the boundaries of historic preservation in Rhode Island. Students will present topics including the conservation of a ca. 1850 ball gown; adaptive reuse of historic buildings for senior care and for performing arts; a critical analysis of gender representation in the National Register; the “Lives and Landscapes” of African Americans in colonial Newport; a comparison of high style and vernacular architecture.

SOLD OUT C5 The Archaeology of Green Jacket Shoal Tour (boat)

David Robinson, Marine Archaeologist, University of Rhode Island
Charlotte Taylor, Archaeologist, RIHPHC

This tour visits the “graveyard” of Green Jacket Shoal, where at least 29 ships, including two of Rhode Island’s best-known excursion steamships, were abandoned. Join archaeologists aboard the Elizabeth Morris for a floating perspective on the waterfront history of East Providence and India Point across the way. What is the significance of these resources? How should they best be managed?

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

at Weaver Library, 41 Grove Ave., East Providence

Join colleagues and friends to catch up on the day’s events at this casual gathering hosted by East Providence Public Library. Music provided the URI Jazz Quartet.

Contact Us

(401) 222-2078

150 Benefit Street

Providence RI 02903