A pair of historic house rehabilitations completed by the House of Hope Community Development Corporation in two historic Warwick neighborhoods are among the dozen people and projects that will be honored at the third annual Rhode Island Preservation Celebration. The event will take place at Rosecliff in Newport from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.
The Rhody Awards, chosen by Preserve Rhode Island (PRI) and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) from nominations by the public, honor individuals, organizations and projects for their contributions to the preservation of Rhode Island’s historic places.
Established in 1989, the House of Hope Community Development Corporation works primarily to prevent and end homelessness in Rhode Island. For almost a decade, it has embraced historic preservation as a means to achieve that end.
Using a range of public funding sources, the House of Hope CDC transformed two historic properties, both located in important local historic districts in Warwick. In Apponaug, the Thomas Wilbur Homestead at 3188 Post Road includes an early 19th-century house, barn, carriage house and several outbuildings. Between 2007 and 2012, House of Hope rehabilitated the house to accommodate its administrative offices while carefully preserving its many original features, created a total of five residential units in the renovated carriage house and constructed an appropriately designed new building. Presbrey Architects worked with Pariseault Builders and Nationwide Construction on the multi-phase project.
More recently, the House of Hope CDC teamed up with Pariseault, and architect Frank T. Murphy, to redevelop the George Galen Wheeler House (ca. 1906) at 57 Fair Street in Pawtuxet Village. An investment of $1 million in local, state and federal funds yielded five one-bedroom apartments and a restored exterior appropriate to the historic streetscape. Both projects not only provided much-needed residences for formerly homeless people but also provided employment in the redevelopment of these properties.
The Rhode Island Preservation Celebration and Rhody Awards event is open to the public and features local beverages, delicious appetizers, a silent auction and a raffle. Tickets cost $25 in advance or $30 at the door. To buy a ticket or request more information, call 272-5101 or visit www.preserveri.org.