Gilpin to receive preservation award

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 3:45pm

The following press release was sent to The Block Island Times by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission:

Island Preservationst Robert E. Gilpin to receive Rhody Award for historic preservation

Robert E. Gilpin, longtime volunteer steward of Block Island’s North Light, is one of the ten people and places that will be honored at the tenth annual Rhode Island Preservation Celebration. The event will take place at Belcourt of Newport from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 21.

The Rhody Awards, chosen by Preserve Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission from nominations by the public, honor individuals, organizations, and projects for their contributions to the preservation of Rhode Island’s historic places.

Gilpin will receive the Antoinette F. Downing Award for Volunteer Service. For nearly three decades, Gilpin has trekked across the dunes to look after the historic lighthouse at the northern tip of Block Island. He joined the effort to save the North Light as a way of giving back to the community. Rob’s first volunteer contributions were hands-on: monitoring conditions, boarding up windows and doors, carrying out minor repairs. He came to lead the North Light Commission, managing a $700,000 restoration project. Trained as a mason, Rob values learning from tradespeople, architects, and building consultants who have worked on site, and he chats up teachers, old-timers, children, and other visitors. Spare time? That’s when he watches over the Southeast Lighthouse. Rob Gilpin’s dedication to the North Light is a shining example of volunteer service to historic preservation.

The Rhode Island Preservation Celebration and Rhody Awards event is open to the public. To buy a ticket or request more information, call (401) 272-5101 or visit