As the only statewide advocate for Rhode Island's historic places...


Preserve Rhode Island works with individuals and groups to provide advocacy and technical assistance at the local, regional, and statewide level. From homeowners to community groups to preservation and conservation partners - PRI is working hard to protect Rhode Island's unique and historic places.

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Constitutional Amendment to Change the Name of the State

Preserve Rhode Island supports the ballot measure to change the official name of the state from “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to “State of Rhode Island” and urges Rhode Island voters to vote “yes” on Ballot Question 1.


The public discussions about changing the state’s name this summer and fall have made clear that the word “plantation” has come to be inextricably connected with slavery and its legacy in the United States. This association is painful to many people. While Preserve Rhode Island acknowledges that the historical use of the word “plantation” in Rhode Island’s name was not directly related to slavery, the current connotations of the word are hurtful.


Preserve Rhode Island is committed to examining our individual roles and responsibilities as citizens and the role of our organization in confronting institutional and individual racism and inequity. Preserve Rhode Island is adding an equity lens to

our work and is engaged in finding ways to understand, listen, and speak up as

leaders in preservation and contributors to history’s interpretation. Supporting the state’s name change is only one step of many that Preserve Rhode will make as it strives to be more inclusive and advocate for a community that is supportive of everyone. Changing the state’s name does not erase or minimize the history of the founding of the state. Rather, it is an opportunity to declare that diverse perspectives and backgrounds are part of Rhode Island’s history and culture and those voices are not only heard but valued and respected.

Rhode Island Historic Tax Credits


Rhode Island’s State Historic Tax Credits have been approved for a one-year extension. Scheduled to “sunset” on June 30, 2020, State Representative Christopher R. Blazejewski and Senate Finance Chair William J Conley, Jr. led the effort in the General Assembly to extend the program which Governor Raimondo signed into law as a part of the Supplemental Budget Bill. While advocates of the program had hoped to eliminate all sunset provisions, we’re relieved that the program remains alive. Preserve Rhode Island joined with Grow Smart Rhode Island and others to back the program, submitting testimony to the House and Senate Finance Committees. Funding for State Historic Tax Credits has not been renewed since 2013, stalling the approval of new projects. Nevertheless, keeping the program intact is an important victory. A model economic development program, State Historic Tax Credits have an impressive track record of prompting more than $1.8 Billion in private investment since its 2002 inception while rehabilitating more than 300 historic properties across the state. Now extended for another year, State Historic Tax Credits will be a part of Rhode Island’s economic recovery.

Advocacy in Action

Governor Proposes $1 Million in State Preservation Grants

Governor Raimondo’s proposed budget for 2021 includes $6.0 million for Arts and Historic Infrastructure as part of the “Housing and Infrastructure” bond to support capital projects in historic preservation and the arts, including:

  • $1.0 million to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) for capital improvement grants to historic properties.

  • $1.0 million to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) for capital improvement grants to non-profit cultural organizations.

  • $2.5 million to Trinity Repertory Company for capital improvements to their campus in DownCity Providence.

  • $1.5 million to the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School for capital improvements to their campus in East Providence.


This recommendation for funding is urgent since both State Preservation Grants and RISCA Cultural Facilities Grants have exhausted their funding.  If the General Assembly approves, the question whether to adopt the Housing and Infrastructure bond will be put to the voters on the November Ballot.


For more information read


Action needed: Contact your Representatives and Senators urging the approval of the Housing and Infrastructure bond.


Contact Links to reach the decision-makers


Stay tuned for more updates and action alerts on this issue!

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Preserve Rhode Island Headquarters

Jeremiah Dexter House

957 North Main Street

Providence, RI 02904

(401) 272-5101

Lippitt House Museum

199 Hope Street

Providence, RI 02906

(401) 453-0688

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