economic development

Historical preservation programs land $54K in grants

COURTESY R.I. HISTORICAL PRESERVATION AND HERITAGE COMMISSION
ODDFELLOWS' HALL in East Providence was one of eight historic preservation programs to receive grant funding from the R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission.
Posted 5/24/13

PROVIDENCE - The R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission has awarded eight grants totaling roughly $54,500 to eight local historic preservation programs, the commission announced Friday.

The grants, which are headed to Bristol, Cranston, East Providence, Providence and Warwick, will support a variety of local preservation activities, including a smartphone app for historic walking tours, a mapping study of early colonial settlement sites and architectural assessments of historic buildings, among other initiatives.

The funds also will support the survey and documentation of a National Register district, a planning study of a historic industrial plant and revisions to the design review program for downtown Providence.

“The work carried out by municipal historical preservation programs is very important to our statewide preservation efforts,” RIHPHC Executive Director Edward F. Sanderson said in prepared remarks. “These grant awards are an acknowledgement of the commitment which these communities have made to protect their historical resources.”

The town of Bristol and local nonprofit partners are slated to receive three grants totaling $13,000. The first $3,000 grant will support the development of a smartphone app to guide users on walking tours of the town’s historic districts. The second grant of $4,000 will fund assessment and maintenance plans for historic buildings and the third, of $6,000, will support a planning study of the Bristol Industrial Park/Bristol Rubber Works.

Cranston plans to use $11,000 to hire a historian to prepare a National Register nomination for the Anstis Greene Estate, a historic residential plat in the Edgewood Historic District.

East Providence’s $7,500 grant will fund the preparation of a historic structures report for the Odd Fellows Hall, which was built in 1889.

Providence plans to use $4,000 toward an update of the 1993 Rules and Regulations for the Downcity District, helping to clarify recent changes to downtown zoning and revise documentation requirements.

The city of Warwick will receive $9,000 to complete a GIS mapping study of known sites from the colonial settlement of Kent County from 1636 to 1740. According to a release, the resulting maps and database will help identify and protect sensitive locations and contribute to the understanding of the growth of early English settlements.

The commission also has reserved $10,000 to fund the 2014 Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference. The location for the annual conference will be announced later this year.

These grants, which are part of the commission’s Certified Local Government program, are funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

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