Union Congregational Church Newport
The former Union Congregational Church, Newport

Request for Proposals:
African American Civil Rights project

RIHPHC is engaged in an ongoing project on the history of African American civil rights in Rhode Island. On October 26, 2022, RIHPHC issued a revised Request for Proposals that has reduced the scope of the project set out in the original RFP. The revised RFP seeks a preservation consultant to complete a statewide survey of sites associated with the pre-20th-century struggle for African American civil rights in Rhode Island and to prepare an individual National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for one related property. This project is funded by an Under-represented Communities Grant from the National Park Service.

See the project page for the RFP and additional information. (10/26/22)


Rhode Island Archaeology Month 2022 square

October is Rhode Island Archaeology Month

Rhode Island Archaeology Month events take place all October long, providing opportunities to learn about the state's archaeological heritage. Join professional archaeologists on walking tours, talks, visits to active excavations, and hands-on opportunities to participate in projects. All events are free and open to the public. Check out the Program Calendar for details on a cool dozen events this October. (9/21/22) 


St Columba's interior Middletown
Interior of St. Columba's, the Berkeley Memorial Chapel

A Chapel in Paradise

A historic church and churchyard in Middletown have received federal recognition for their contributions to the history of architecture, art, and community development. The National Park Service has listed St. Columba’s, the Berkeley Memorial Chapel, in the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed in 1884-86, St. Columba’s Chapel is an excellent example of the English Gothic Revival style, and the building and cemetery showcase the work of prominent architects and designers. The property is also significant for its role in Middletown’s development as a summer resort community at the turn of the century. (8/18/22)


13 Loop Drive, Cedar Point
Hunt House (ca. 1875-78) in the newly-listed Cedar Point Historic District

Cedar Point Historic District listed in National Register; Wakefield Historic District Expanded

In North Kingstown, the Cedar Point Historic District has received federal recognition for its significance to local architectural and community history. Located on the south shore of Wickford Cove, this three-acre residential enclave features five houses constructed between 1872 and 1910. In South Kingstown, the Wakefield Historic District has been expanded to include three significant historic resources from the 1930s and 1940s: Saugatucket Park, the Saugatucket River Footbridge, and the former Wakefield Post Office. (8/16/22)


44th Heritage Festival Flyer

Save the Date! Heritage Festival on Saturday, September 17th at the WaterFire Arts Center

Leave your passport at home and explore the world through art and music!

RIHPHC will present Rhode Island's 44th Annual Heritage Festival on Saturday, September 17th, from noon to 5 pm at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence. Join in a lively celebration of our state's rich cultural heritage. The program will feature cultural exhibits, visual art, musical performances, children's activities, and a multicultural fashion show. And don't miss the food trucks offering an array of traditional food and beverages. Admission to this family event is FREE.  (6/16/22) | press release


Garage, Woonsocket Electric Machine & Power Company (ca. 1904)

Generating Electricity and Redevelopment in Woonsocket

The National Park Service has clarified the boundaries of the Woonsocket Company/Bernon Mills Historic District and added information to the National Register of Historic Places. Originally listed in 1973, the historic district now includes three additional buildings. The additional information describes the transition from manufacturing textiles to generating electricity on the property. (6/13/22) | press release



RIHPHC Position Opening: Executive Director

RIHPHC's Executive Director will be responsible for the overall planning, development, implementation and administration of multiple historic preservation programs/projects including: identification and nomination of properties to the National Register of Historic Places and the State Register; regulation of federal, state, and local projects that affect historic resources; administration and approval of state and federal grants and tax credits for historic rehabilitation; recognition for the state's cultural heritage; as well as providing leadership and direction for planning to shape historic preservation policies, objectives, and proposed legislation; as designated, to serve as State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) or Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer; and to do related work as required. The posting closes May 23, 2022. To apply or learn more visit: State of Rhode Island Career pages (5/4/22)


Ribbon-cutting at Old State House 4/13/22

Exterior Restoration Complete,
$1.5 Million Accessibility Project Tees Up at Old State House

The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC), the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), and elected officials gathered to celebrate the completion of the exterior restoration of the Old State House in Providence. Governor Daniel J. McKee, Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, and State Senator Samuel D. Zurier joined to recognize the top-notch preservation project completed by Rhode Island contractors earlier this year. (4/13/22) press release


Samuel Steere Lot, Johnston

Rhode Island Cemetery Weeks Calendar

Rhode Island Advisory Commission on Historical Cemeteries (RIACHC) and RIHPHC present RI Historical Cemeteries Awareness and Preservation Weeks.

The calendar of programs includes walking tours, presentations, clean-ups, open houses, hikes, gravestone conservation demonstrations, and more. There are events taking place in every corner of the state at historic cemeteries, graveyards, and burial lots. Whether you are a hands-on type looking for a volunteer project or a preservationist interested in learning about historic cemeteries, there is a program for you!

New programs continue to be posted each week. Check for details (tour limits, RSVP requirements, etc) on the calendar. Follow us on facebook and instagram for a preview of each week's schedule and the "Cemetery Weeks Cemetery of the Week." (4/8/22)


RI Cemetery Weeks 2022

Introducing RI Cemetery Weeks

The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) has launched a partnership with the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on Historical Cemeteries (RIACHC) to present RI Historical Cemeteries Awareness and Preservation Weeks in April - May 2022. The RIACHC is a volunteer-led commission that presents dozens of cemetery clean-ups, gravestone conservation demonstrations, and tours across the state each spring. RIHPHC will work closely with RIACHC to organize additional free programs that raise awareness about Rhode Island's historic cemeteries and promote their preservation.

RI Historical Cemeteries Awareness and Preservation Weeks will run in place of the 2022 RI Historic Preservation Conference. With a new partnership and free outdoor programs statewide, we are excited about this new collaboration! (1/27/22)


stadium building photo
Stadium Theatre, Woonsocket

18 State Preservation Grants Announced

In 2021, RIHPHC received 35 State Preservation Grants applications for capital preservation projects at museums, cultural arts centers, and public historic sites. Following review by staff and the State Preservation Grants Review Panel, the Commissioners approved more than $1.18 million in funding for 18 projects around the state. The 2021 grant round was funded by the March 2021 Cultural Arts and State Preservation Grants Programs ballot measure as well as carryover funds from a 2014 ballot measure.

RIHPHC Interim Executive Director Jeffrey Emidy noted, “Rhode Island is recognized nationally as a leader in historic preservation and the arts. These state grants are investments that build on our strengths.” (1/11/22) Governor's press release



Apply for a Certified Local Government Grant

Applications are available for FFY 2022 Certified Local Government (CLG) Grants. Grants will support projects within the following categories: Identification and Evaluation of Historic Resources, Planning Activities, Resource-Specific Activities, Public Education Activities, and Statewide Projects. 

Within these categories, three funding priorities will merit special consideration:

  • Projects that help communities plan for protecting historic resources from the effects of climate change and sea level rise
  • Projects that promote the recognition or preservation of resources associated with historically underrepresented groups
  • Projects that will provide training opportunities for historic district commissions and municipal planning staff

Applications must be submitted by January 21, 2022.