2017-01-26 / News

Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association receives $46K grant to take care of exterior work

Another week, another grant for the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association.

Just two weeks after receiving $6,259 from the Heritage Harbor Foundation, the group snagged $46,475 awarded Jan. 19 by the State Council on the Arts and R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.

While the smaller foundation money will pay for buying and installing advanced touch-screen displays for inside the museum, the new matching grant will go toward fixing up the outside of the lighthouse, site of the third oldest in the nation.

According to Varoujan Karentz, a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors, the money will go toward about $100,000 worth of repairs that need to be made to the lighthouse keepers’ houses, the granite tower, the oil storage building and the garage.

“We were surprised because it was a very competitive grant,” he said. “There were a large number of nonprofit groups that went after it so we were pleased to get it.”

Since the work includes painting and fixing several leaks, Karentz said the board was happy to receive the money since the repairs were necessary and would have had to have been paid out of the association’s pocket if the grant hadn’t come through.

The grant was one of 33 given to 17 state municipalities that totaled about $3.8 million. It is part of the $11.5 million in state preservation and cultural facilities grants voters approved in a September 2014 referendum.

“Rhode Island is recognized nationally as a leader in historic preservation and the arts,” said Edward F. Sanderson, executive director of the preservation commission, in a press release. “These state grants are investments that build on our strengths.”

Historic sites are critically important to the state’s economy since they help attract visitors, said Randall Rosenbaum, the council’s executive director, in the release.

Besides Beavertail, the state Department of Environmental Management’s Fort Adams visitors center in Newport received a $109,091 grant and the Wickford Art Association in North Kingstown was awarded a $98,715 grant.

“We’re thrilled that state preservation grants will restore the visitors’ center at historic Fort Adams in Newport, the historic lighthouse complex at Beavertail in Jamestown and the historic Coggeshall Farmhouse in Colt State Park in Bristol,” said DEM Director Janet Coit in the press release. “Our state parks are treasured resources, and we extend thanks to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission and our partners at Coggeshall Farm Museum and Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association for making these investments that will benefit Rhode Island families and visitors to our state.”

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