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Notes from the PPS Annual Meeting

I usually attend the Providence Preservation Society’s annual meeting — I don’t always, but I usually. This year’s was pretty good, with a great speaker and some fun announcements. Here’s a recap of what I learned.

Nellie Gorbea, RI Secretary of State, is pretty great

I have not heard Ms. Gorbea speak before, but she’s a down to earth personality that makes it easy to instantly like her. She came to open the meeting and address the attendees. While there, she talked about the State Archives. I knew we had a pretty good archive — the City of Providence Deed from 1666! An original printing of the Declaration of Independence from 1777! — and I even knew that the State Archives currently resides in a building within a flood zone.

But I didn’t know that a major project of her next administration is to fund, locate, and design a new permanent Cultural Center for the State Archives. It makes perfect sense. RI has the same amount of history as Boston, but so often, school children go to Boston to learn about history. They could do it all right here if we had a better location for these resources. I look forward to some progress on this, it could be really great.

The Old Brick Schoolhouse is really old

Its the 250 year anniversary of the Old Brick Schoolhouse at 24 Meeting Street in 2019. PPS is going to program events around this landmark Providence building.

Thompson Mayes tries to define ”Why Old Places Matter”

Thompson Mayes is a historian for the National Trust and has written, among other things, a book entitled ”Why Old Places Matter”. He reviewed a few key points that he discovered when talking to people about old buildings. I took some notes on a few of the key terms that he introduced. Some are obvious, others, less so.

No conclusion, just thoughts

I like continuing to support PPS. They are a great organization and I hope they continue to do many great things. Their Annual Meeting is always a nice way to dive back into the community of architectural appreciationists. I saw a few people there that I’d hadn’t seen in quite some time, and that’s always a nice thing to. It was held at one of the large lecture halls at Brown — a place that I don’t spend much time in or have any history with, so it’s nice to have an excuse to crash the campus.