Feds send $2.5M to R.I. for historic property repairs, research

Thanks to a National Park Service grant program, 23 projects in 10 Rhode Island cities and towns are on the receiving end of a total of $2.8 million designed to repair damage done by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012 and to prepare for future potential damage. More

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Feds send $2.5M to R.I. for historic property repairs, research

SAND REMOVAL WAS ONLY THE FIRST STEP to recovery from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Nearly $2.6 million in federal grants have been delivered to Rhode Island to repair damage to historically significantly buildings as well as to take stock of other potentially historic sites that may need protection from future natural disasters.
Posted 7/7/14

NARRAGANSETT – Thanks to a National Park Service grant program, 23 projects in 10 Rhode Island cities and towns are on the receiving end of a total of $2.6 million designed to repair damage done by Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012, as well as to evaluate sites along the coast that the storm exposed and to determine if they are worth special consideration going forward.

“This is about preserving our past and building toward a more sustainable future,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who shepherded the grants as part of a total of $829 million allocated for Sandy relief funding in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. “Rhode Island has a proud history and vibrant culture, and we want to properly preserve it for future generations.” Reed was joined by the rest of the state’s congressional delegation at a press event Monday at The Towers on Narragansett Pier announcing the grants.

The R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission developed the Ocean State grant program based on National Park Service guidance, with an eye toward not just funding repair work on historic structures – such as replacing asphalt shingles on the damaged roof of The Towers with red-cedar shingles much like those used in the original construction of the 130-year-old building – but for archaeological survey work to document sites that the storm exposed on Block Island as well as in Charlestown, Narragansett and Westerly and to determine if they should be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Restoration projects for four lighthouses were funded – Bristol Ferry Lighthouse (now a private residence), Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport, Southeast Light on Block Island and Watch Hill Lighthouse in Westerly. In addition, the Cliff Walk in Newport as well as the Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer and Rosecliff in Newport were identified for grant awards.

Below is a list of the grants being made:

Site, Town, Repair grant amount

  • Southeast Lighthouse, Block Island, $1,958

  • Benjamin Church Home for Aged Men, Bristol, $11,495

  • Bristol Ferry Lighthouse, Bristol, $82,546

  • Stillhouse Cove Park, Cranston, $31,902

  • Original Beavertail Lighthouse Foundation, Jamestown, $3,500

  • Dunmere, Narragansett, $85,000

  • Hazard’s Castle Landscape, Narragansett, $122,394

  • Stone Lea, Narragansett, $131,750

  • The Towers, Narragansett, $57,820

  • The Breakers Landscape, Newport, $7,135

  • Chateau-sur-Mer Landscape, Newport, $5,678

  • Cliff Walk, Newport, $254,118

  • Newport Congregational Church Parish House, Newport, $2,902

  • Ochre Court, Newport, $4,863

  • Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport, $103,500

  • Rosecliff Landscape, Newport, $16,723

  • Vinland, Newport, $4,913

  • William T. Grant Building, Pawtucket, $90,000

  • Peace Dale Manufacturing. Co. Barn and Shed, South Kingstown, $9,150

  • Lanphear Livery Stable, Westerly, $49,999

  • Watch Hill Lighthouse Landscape, Westerly, $447,500

Purpose, Site, Survey grant amount

  • Block Island Archaeology Survey, Block Island, $577,431

  • South Coast Archaeology Survey, Charlestown, Narragansett, Westerly, $474,766

Total awarded – $2,577,043

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