From the Providence Preservation Society:
PPS Announces 2016 Providence Symposium: Why Preserve?
Industrial Trust Building is setting for national conversation on why preservation matters to communities
The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) announces the 2016 Providence Symposium, Why Preserve?, November 3-4, 2016 at the Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street.
The annual Providence Symposium engages experts from across the nation as well as local stakeholders on topics critical to the future of Providence. In 1956, PPS inaugurated what became a national model for historic preservation. Sixty years later, PPS asks its founding question of a new generation: Why Preserve? The 2016 Symposium will launch a year of community-based conversations around these foundational preservation questions: Why do we preserve? What do we preserve? Who decides what we preserve – that is, who are “we”? What are the costs of preservation? Who bears them?
“While we have succeeded in preserving buildings from earlier eras, we increasingly recognize that they live on in a world of very different expectations, intentions, and needs than those that prevailed in the world for which they were built,” stated Brent Runyon, executive director of PPS. “Political, societal, economic, and environmental realities have changed in countless ways, and the question of Why Preserve? must be asked and answered within these new realities. It’s time to find out just what we mean when we say that preservation matters.”
Also part of the conversation will be PPS’s overriding concern for Providence’s hardest-to-use historic buildings, sometimes referred to as “white elephants.” The Industrial Trust Building itself, an iconic Art Deco skyscraper, has been vacant since 2013 and cited as a critical development challenge. All Symposium attendees will enjoy tours of the building, which were sold out during summer 2016.
Leading the program, along with PPS and a line-up of expert panelists, will be special guests whose work has had monumental impact on countless communities and historic buildings: Curtis G. Viebranz, President & CEO of Mount Vernon; Carl R. Nold, President & CEO of Historic New England; and Dr. Max Page, MS Design Program Director and Director of Historic Preservation Initiatives with the Department of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as author of the newly-published book, Why Preservation Matters.
PPS encourages all to attend this galvanizing program that will dive deeply into issues and conditions that define our city, now and into the future. Thursday evening’s program is FREE; Friday’s day- long program is $60, or $45 for non-profit/government employees and PPS members.