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Preserving Pawtucket Fund
By Jean Cohoon / February 20, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

“We’re focusing more on the educational portion of our mission now,” states Barbara Zdravesky, president of the board of directors of the Preservation Society of Pawtucket (PSP). Its mission states, “Through educational programs and community service, (PSP) shall discover, memorialize, and preserve the history and architecture of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.”

That focus for the 40-year-old, all-volunteer society includes a robust schedule of tours, lectures, and advocacy work. This past summer, PSP hosted walking tours in eight neighborhoods, two cemeteries, and Slater Park. “We want people to learn about Pawtucket and to identify with its distinctive history. When you learn what something is, you understand its value, and why it should be preserved,” Barbara explains. “We’ve seen an increase in participation and interest in the past year.”

“Pawtucket has a fascinating history and some of it has been lost. We’re combining the historical and preservation aspects of our mission,” states David Hansen, treasurer of the board.

The organization’s lecture series serves to further involve people; topics last year ranged from herb gardening to the re-use of mill buildings, and from the history of Pawtucket in the 19th century to an overview of the art deco style in the city.

PSP’s marker program identifies historic buildings, and their list of Properties to Watch highlights advocacy efforts. Of the latter Barbara shares, “These buildings, sites, and artifacts have, for various reasons, been neglected and have fallen into disrepair. We want to make the community aware of their importance. It is public outcry that often has the most influence.”

PSP utilized the proceeds from its former office building, the Baker-Hanley House on Park Place, to establish this endowment. ”We’re in a position to stabilize our finances and strengthen our organization,” Barbara explains. David added, “This endowment fund will allow us to develop more programs and further our mission. The Foundation is a major contributor to the non-profit world of Rhode Island, and it made sense for us to put our endowment there. It will give us the opportunity to be more invested in the Rhode Island community.”

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