The Providence Preservation Society’s 2012 Providence Symposium brings together a diverse group of speakers in downtown Providence to examine both the past and future of the historic preservation movement in the city. This year’s event — Not Always Pretty: Behind the Façade of Historic Preservation in Providence — explores the more nuanced and less pretty stories behind the 50+ years of preservation in our city, from the demolition and replacement of homes on Benefit Street, to removing historical interiors to “preserve” them in museums, to deciding what to do with the ‘ugly’ Brutalist buildings, and the politics and policies behind how, and by whom, the decisions are made.
Session topics include Tough Choices: The Policies and Politics of Historic Preservation where a panel of city and institutional planners, preservationists and developers will reflect on what aspects in the evolution of cities and neighborhoods are necessary to preserve, how these conclusions are made and who makes these decisions; It’s Not Easy Being Green: Sustainability and Historic Preservation with architects, environmentalists and developers exploring the challenges with historic preservation guidelines that do not always agree with the ever necessary green energy efforts; From Modernist Monuments to Concrete Carbuncles: The Challenges of Preserving Brutalist Architecture with featured speaker Brian Sirman discussing whether what we perceive as “ugly” architecture holds significance for our city; and The Triple-Decker Menace where returning speaker C. Morgan Grefe will discuss the uncomfortable stories related to the immigrant settlement and working class construction that surged in the days of the Industrial Revolution.
Starts with free film screening of “Southside: The Fall and Rise of an Inner City Neighborhood” on Thursday, October 11 at 6:30pm at the RISD Museum Chace Center Metcalf Auditorium.
Student rates available, three locations, Thursday through Saturday, October 11 through 13, info at Providence Symposium