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GoLocal Prov: NEW: RI State Historic Preservation Officer Sanderson Retiring

Published on August 1, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

GoLocalProv News Team

Edward "Ted" Sanderson, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission and State Historic Preservation Officer, is retiring.

During his tenure Sanderson oversaw the approval of historic rehabilitation projects throughout Rhode Island, including renovation for housing, reuse of textile mills, and restoration of landmarks. He holds a M.A. in American Civilization from Brown University, and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Salve Regina University. He is co-author of the book Providence, RI: A City-wide Survey of Historic Resources (1986).

"As a historian and preservationist I have found Ted Sanderson to be the most trusted advisor and advocate for preservation in Rhode Island," said former State Representative and historian Ray Rickman. "He has been an effective implementer of both the state and Federal policies created to protect some of the most important historic buildings in the nation. I have watched him try new ideas and embrace people from every part of America’s smallest state. Ted’s shoes will be difficult to fill."

Sanderson's Letter

Sanderson sent the following message out on Monday:

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

I have worked at the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission for 42 years, and I have decided that this is the right time for me to retire and for the Commission to transition to new leadership. I started as staff to the Providence Historic District Commission, and became RIHPHC Executive Director in 1984 after serving as Deputy Director.

I had the rare opportunity to learn from Antoinette Downing and Fred Williamson, two great leaders of America’s historic preservation movement who preached time and again that Rhode Island’s extraordinary historical resources are worth preserving; and I have been privileged to work with outstanding RIHPHC staff members, Commissioners, and friends and colleagues like you. During my tenure, we have documented and protected thousands of historic buildings and archaeological sites and approved historic rehabilitation and restoration projects for approximately 2,500 historic buildings representing investment of $2.8 billion in Rhode Island’s heritage and economy.

The Commission has named Jeffrey Emidy to serve as Acting Executive Director beginning August 1. He is very experienced in managing our programs as RIHPHC Deputy Director. Jeff’s contact information is Jeffrey.Emidy@preservation.ri.gov 401-222-4134.

In the coming months, I’ll assist the Commission to recruit candidates for the permanent job and help Jeff in any way he asks. During this transition, I’ll continue to serve as Governor Raimondo’s appointed State Historic Preservation Officer, and my email address is still Edward.Sanderson@preservation.ri.gov.

Working at the RIHPHC is the only job I’ve ever had, and historic preservation has been very important to me personally. One thing I’ve learned is that historic places are not saved just once, they must be preserved every day, year after year, by owners and advocates who care about them. Thank you for your work, the job isn’t done yet.

Yours truly,

Ted Sanderson

Edward F. Sanderson, Executive Director

State Historic Preservation Officer

Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

The Old State House – 150 Benefit Street

Providence, RI 02903

Courtesy of GoLocal Prov