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Providence Preservation Society names Karen Jessup Interim Director

From the Providence Preservation Society:

Providence Preservation Society Names Interim Director

Karen Jessup, Seasoned Preservationist and Landscape Historian Takes The Reins At PPS

pps-logoProvidence, RI: Karen Jessup, who served for years as a Providence Preservation Society (PPS) Trustee and Board President of the Providence Revolving Fund has become the Society’s interim director, according to Board of Trustees President Lucie Searle. Karen is taking over for Executive Director James Hall, who stepped down after accepting the position of deputy director of the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, Florida.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Karen back to PPS,” stated Searle, adding, “As a former Chair of the Providence Historic District Commission and founding member of the Revolving Fund, Karen has over 30 years of experience working in Providence’s preservation landscape. The breadth and depth of her experiences and achievements on both a national and international level are extensive.”

In addition to Jessup’s work in Providence, she is a former Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Chair of its Board of Advisors where she concentrated specifically on diversifying the preservation movement and public policy advocacy. Karen has held administrative and teaching appointments in academia in the US and Great Britain, and research fellowships at several universities on both sides of the Atlantic. She was recently named a reviewer for the American Association of Museums, specializing in non-profit organizational and leadership assessment, and community engagement. In her many years of consulting with groups in the US and Britain, she has guided them in institutional planning, educational programming, and issues of governance and management. Karen has consulted broadly with World Heritage Sites in Britain, National Historic Landmarks and National Register properties in the US, and other sites and organizations of cultural consequence. She has received numerous citations for community service and for her academic work, and has been a juror on national preservation and landscape design panels.

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Congratulations Mayor and Mrs. Taveras


Congratulations to the Mayor and Mrs. Taveras who were married today in a surprise ceremony. And happy first birthday to their daughter Farah Rose.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Farah Taveras (nee Escamilla) are pleased to announce that they were married today in a surprise ceremony during a private party held to celebrate the first birthday of their daughter, Farah Rose Taveras.

The ceremony was performed by Mayor Taveras’s uncle, Rhode Island District Court Judge Rafael A. Ovalles, and attended by about 100 family members and close friends, including Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

The Mayor and Mrs. Taveras were engaged earlier this month. They’ve since decided that the planned gathering for their daughter’s birthday would be an ideal venue for celebrating their marriage.

Mrs. Taveras, 33, has chosen to be a stay-at-home mother after working as a legal assistant at the Providence-based law firm Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West.

Photo from the Mayor’s Office.

Storified: Changing the perception of Downcity

Changing the perception of Downcity

A commenter at last week’s Providence Preservation Society Symposium stated that Downcity Providence is just vacant buildings and homeless people, prompting the following discussion on Twitter.

Storified by Gr. City Providence · Wed, Oct 17 2012 08:52:08

Ugh. Downcity is NOT just vacant buildings and homeless people. #pvdsymposiumGr. City Providence
@gcpvd do they really think that? Our population doubled in from 2000-2010Jason Becker
@jasonpbecker people who only come Downcity on Sunday mornings it seems. Maybe they’ll learn on the lunch break.Gr. City Providence
@gcpvd @jasonpbecker <chuckle> on Sundays it _is_ like that. Solution is to double downtown pop every 5 yrs.Allan Tear
@gcpvd I can’t sleep on weekend until 1 because its loud and I love that. Restaurants are full all the time. Tons of people work here.Jason Becker
@gcpvd I’m so sick of Warwick and Cranston pretending they know anything about Providence. They don’t come here. They don’t know.Jason Becker
@allantear @gcpvd lots of ways to do that. Too bad neither city or state rigorously pursuing itJason Becker
@jasonpbecker @gcpvd or an individual/private group. All sorts of problems w/ that being a public led vision – witness Oaklands 10K project.Allan Tear
@allantear @gcpvd generally agree but a lot of that work is dependent on currently government held land & a lot of what’s needed are "bones"Jason Becker
@allantear @gcpvd you won’t double downcity population by building 10,000 parking spots over existing surface lots.Jason Becker
@jasonpbecker @gcpvd so true!Allan Tear
@allantear @gcpvd won’t get suburban RIers to pay for city living where they still feel need for car & are surrounded by surface lotsJason Becker
@jasonpbecker @gcpvd those are the wrong assumptions, IMO. The next 1K residents will not be RI suburbanite émigrés. They will be imports.Allan Tear
@allantear @gcpvd who aren’t going to be excited by parking lots & no grocery shopping in sight. And there is 0 residential visionJason Becker
@allantear @gcpvd people don’t want to come here bc they don’t get the full benefits of a city. Need car. No family housing.Jason Becker
@jasonpbecker @gcpvd so let’s change it.Allan Tear
@allantear @gcpvd Westminster is what they want to see– for a couple of miles continuous.Jason Becker
@allantear @gcpvd I think @ProvPlanning has the vision 80% right. But they were shut out. I don’t see opportunity to influence commission.Jason Becker
@allantear @gcpvd feels like it marches in isolation barely interested in or accountable to the city, it’s residents, and its needs.Jason Becker
@allantear @gcpvd Im 25, own Downcity, knowledge sector employee in policy, interested in development- 0 opportunity to authentically engageJason Becker
@jasonpbecker Fair critique. No doubt trad powers have no place to plug in. But they’ve no mo’, either. Sounds like u r ripe for RIIF grant!Allan Tear
Yesterday’s story from PBN highlights the exacerbation I feel with the notion that Downcity is dead. It is not 1982 anymore people, come downtown and see what is happening.
Boutique shops build momentum – .comWhen Nora Alexander was a student at Rhode Island School of Design 10 years ago, the only things that routinely drew her and her classmat…


Updated: The passing of William Warner


The famous napkin, courtesy of Providence Preservation Society. Click to enlarge.

Update: See above an image of the famous napkin on which the river relocation project was sketched. Courtesy of the Providence Preservation Society from the book Providence, The Renaissance City by Fran Leazes and Mark Motte. Also, visit YouTube to see a video of Friedrich St. Florian speaking about Bill Warner at last year’s PPS symposium.

I’m away from my computer and attempting to post from my phone for the first time. I thought it was important to note the passing of architect William Warner. As I don’t have the opportunity to write something myself at the moment, below is the press release from the Mayor.

On the Passing of William D. Warner:

I am saddened to learn that William D. Warner has passed. Mr. Warner re-imagined Providence and helped redesign the city we all love. Mr. Warner transformed our downtown and preserved Providence’s historic communities. He literally moved rivers and highways to make our Capital City a more livable and enjoyable place for residents and visitors alike. Our city has always been strengthened by the creative capital of our residents, and Mr. Warner was without question one of the pioneers of our creative economy.


RI Nexus, Jack Templin in the PBN

News about the RI IT community building website RI Nexus, its program director Jack Templin (who is also a friend of GCPVD), and their impact grace the pages of local media yet again. The Providence Business News has a nice article on the organization and on Templin’s continuing series of talks at local educational institutions (J&W, URI, and NEIT down, Salve Regina upcoming). There’s also a nice example profiled about how the site has directly changed one NEIT graduate’s life.

Registered users can read the article here or, better yet, buy a paper version to check it out.


We know who Jack is!


Photo of Jack Templin by bjepson on flickr

This month Providence Monthly does their annual 10 people who you don’t know now (but soon will). In addition to the 10, they feature 15 to watch. Among the 15 to watch is friend of Greater City Providence, Jack Templin of Providence Geeks and RI Nexus fame.

Of the 15 to watch ProMo says:

Here are 15 names that had multiple mentions and are bubbling just below the surface. Expect to see a couple of them on next year’s list.

I have a feeling Jack won’t make the list next year because we’ll all already know him by then. Congrats Jack!