RIHPHC Exective Director J. Paul Loether to Retire in June

Published on Thursday, April 01, 2021

(Providence, R.I.) J. Paul Loether, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) has announced his plans to retire effective June 25, 2021, capping a 43-year in historic preservation. In addition to leading the Commission (Rhode Island’s state agency for historic preservation and heritage programs), Mr. Loether has served as Rhode Island’s State Historic Preservation Officer since 2018.

Mr. Loether counts among his accomplishments three significant planning initiatives for the RIHPHC: updating the State Element Plan, creating the agency’s first Strategic Plan, and working on the Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan. His other activities included ensuring statutory compliance, building strong communications with the Governor's office on preservation issues and funding, working with the Department of Capital Assets Maintenance and Management to complete the exterior restoration of the RIHPHC’s headquarters in Providence’s Old State House (1760-62 et seq.), and supporting Commission staff in their work, health, and safety.

“I am grateful to work with the Governor’s Office, the Commissioners, and the RIHPHC’s talented and dedicated staff of professionals to preserve and protect Rhode Island’s historic buildings and to promote the state’s richly diverse cultural heritage activities and programs,” said Mr. Loether.

“I am grateful to Mr. Loether, a former Keeper of the National Register in DC, for coming to Rhode Island to take this position. His fresh set of eyes, and strong administrative focus, have been extremely valuable to the future of preservation in Rhode Island,” said Ruth Taylor, Chair of the Commission which governs the RIHPHC office.

Upon Mr. Loether’s retirement, the current Deputy Director Jeffrey D. Emidy will become Acting Executive Director of the RIHPHC and acting State Historic Preservation Officer. A nationwide search will be launched to identify Mr. Loether’s permanent successor.