News Archive

Several news items have been condensed and updated.

New staff at RIHPHC

Shanna Vecchio-Schubert has joined the RIHPHC staff as the Assistant Administrator, Financial Management. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island (B.S. in Applied Economics), Shanna has extensive experience in Rhode Island State government, having worked in financial administration at the Department of Corrections and having served as a legislative fiscal analyst for the Senate Finance committee. At RIHPHC her responsibilities include managing departmental funds and planning and administering the departmental budget. (12/8/23)

Old State House and Parade Secure Major Federal Grant for Preservation

The State of Rhode Island was awarded a $750,000 federal grant to preserve the Old State House and Parade at 150 Benefit Street in Providence. The research and restoration project is being supported by a Semiquincentennial Grant from the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Semiquincentennial Grants commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. The federal grant for the Old State House and Parade is one of 20 such cultural resource preservation projects across 14 states that received funding this year. It will support both research and restoration activities. (7/19/23)

New appointments to State Review Board

We are delighted to announce four appointments to the Rhode Island State Historical Review Board--otherwise known as the State Review Board (SRB). The SRB provides professional guidance and advice to the State Historic Preservation Officer and the Commission. Led by Chair Ronald J. Onorato, Ph.D., the SRB holds regular public meetings to review National Register and State Register nominations and confer on other issues. Our new appointees provide expertise in preservation planning, historic landscapes, architectural history, and Rhode Island history.

Shantia Anderheggen is the owner of Preservation Strategies, a consulting firm that works with historic property owners to protect historic buildings, landscapes, and structures.

Karst Hoogeboom is a landscape architect who has worked at Cape Cod National Seashore and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation.

Itohan Osayimwese, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture at Brown University, where she is also an affiliate faculty in Africana Studies, Urban Studies, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Kate Wells is the Curator of Rhode Island Collections in the Special Collections department at Providence Public Library where she facilitates communication, inclusion, and connections to history by supporting community archives as well as outreach and creative use of library collections.

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. (5/17/23)

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.

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.