Conference | Keeping History Above Water

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 10, 2016


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One centerpiece of this upcoming conference on rising sea levels and historic preservation will be the NRF’s 74 Bridge Street Probe, a case study of possible mitigation adaptations for the ca. 1728 Christopher Townsend House and the surrounding colonial-era ‘Point’ neighborhood, which sits perilously close to mean sea level, and in which NRF owns about a dozen other eighteenth-century houses. From the conference website:

Keeping History Above Water: Sea Level Rise and Historic Preservation
Newport, Rhode Island, 10-13 April 2016

Keeping History Above Water will be one of the first national conversations to focus on the increasing and varied risks posed by sea level rise to historic coastal communities and their built environments. This is not a conference about climate change, but about what preservationists, engineers, city planners, legislators, insurers, historic home owners and other decision makers need to know about climate change—sea level rise in particular—and what can be done to protect historic buildings, landscapes and neighborhoods from the increasing threat of inundation.

Over four days, specialists from across the United States and abroad will share experiences, examine risks, and debate solutions with an emphasis on case studies and real world applications. Keeping History Above Water will approach sea level rise from a multi-disciplinary perspective in order to develop practical approaches to mitigation, protective adaptation, and general resilience.

For anyone concerned with preserving historic coastal communities, Keeping History Above Water offers an opportunity to hear from leaders in the field, participate in workshops on practical solutions, tour threatened areas and structures in Newport and its environs, and simply connect over this area of shared concern.

The Newport Restoration Foundation

Founded as a not-for-profit institution in 1968 by Doris Duke, the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) preserves, maintains, and interprets the early architectural heritage of Aquidneck Island and the fine and decorative art collections of Doris Duke. Since its founding, NRF has restored and preserved more than 80 eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century buildings, 74 of which are currently rented as private residences to tenant stewards and maintained by a full-time crew of carpenters and painters. This is one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by a single organization anywhere in the United States. More importantly, the majority of these structures are being lived in and used as they have for more than three centuries, making them an enduring and defining feature of the historic architectural fabric of Newport and a source of great pride for the community.

As a leader in the preservation of early American architecture, the NRF is well positioned to provide a forum for the exchange of information across disciplinary boundaries for collaborative problem solving in the areas of most critical concern to the field of historic preservation today.

Conference Partners

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Preserve Rhode Island
Roger Williams University
Salve Regina University
URI’s Coastal Resource Center
Union of Concerned Scientists

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