St Mary's Church Exterior (credit Murry Edwards)

Newly listed: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Portmouth

A historic church in Portsmouth has received federal recognition for its contributions to the history of architecture and art. Jeffrey Emidy, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, announced that the National Park Service has listed St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by architect Richard Upjohn, St. Mary’s is a well-preserved example of a rural Gothic Revival church and contains several works created by significant artists. The church cemetery includes several notable examples of funerary art.

For more details, see the press release and nomination. (5/17/23)


Joanna Doherty

RIHPHC Selects Deputy Director

Joanna Doherty has been appointed Deputy Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.

Joanna started at the RIHPHC as a Senior Architectural Historian in 2013, advancing to Principal Architectural Historian in 2015. In this role, she has guided the preparation of dozens of National Register of Historic Places nominations, resulting in nearly 600 resources being listed. Previously Joanna worked at the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, and the Public Archaeology Laboratory. She earned a B.A. in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. As Deputy Director Joanna will oversee the RIHPHC’s National Register, survey, and archaeology programs.



RIHPHC is hiring: Assistant Administrator, Financial Management

The Assistant Administrator, Financial Management will be responsible for assisting with the proper receipt and disbursement of departmental funds; for assisting with planning and administering the departmental budget, including both state and federal resources; and for related work as required. The posting closes 5/30/23.

For additional requirements and information about how to apply, please visit the State of Rhode Island Career Pages.


Rhode Island Cemetery Weeks 2023

Rhode Island Cemetery Weeks Coming Up April - May 2023

Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Awareness and Preservation Weeks (Rhode Island Cemetery Weeks) will feature dozens of free programs in April and May. The public is invited to participate in tours, clean-ups, gravestone conservation demonstrations, talks, and other programs at and about historic cemeteries throughout the state. Rhode Island Cemetery Weeks is organized by the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on Historical Cemeteries (RIACHC) and Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) in collaboration with many individual and organizational partners.

Event listings are listed BY DATE! Check out 100+ programs, with more to be added each week.


Jeffrey Emidy
Jeffrey Emidy (credit: Potter Photography)

RIHPHC Appoints New Executive Director

Commission Chair Ruth S. Taylor announced that the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission has appointed Acting Executive Director Jeffrey D. Emidy to serve as Executive Director. The selection follows a nearly year-long search that evaluated 28 candidates from Rhode Island and nationwide. 

Emidy has worked in historic preservation for more than 22 years. At the Commission, he advanced from National Register Assistant to Project Review Coordinator, to Deputy Director and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer before being named Executive Director. He has served as interim executive director on two occasions.

For more details about the appointment, see the press release. (1/30/23)