What is Phase One?

Phase One of this project will be compiling information and placing plaques on homes/buildings that are either in the Historic and Architectural Resources of Block Island, Rhode Island or in The Historic House Survey 2007. These two options provide a starting point to begin researching your home.  We will research and provide the original date and owner.  In some cases, your home may have been documented already.

What happens during Phase Two?

Plaque owners will be eligible to use our website to attain information on how to preserve their historic home. We intend to provide educational information for you to download such as; pertinent articles, videos, workshops and provide site visits to other historic buildings for your interest. Or mission is to help homeowners preserve, renovate and save their historic structures.

What houses qualify for plaques and what are the specific criteria?

We would like to include any house that was built before the 1938 Hurricane. The home must be over 50% original and maintained. The structure must retain the integrity of its original design.

Why are you only using two resources (Historic and Architectural Resources of Block Island, Rhode Island or The Historic House Survey 2008) to qualify for a plaque in Phase One?

We use these sources as a starting point because, despite some inaccuracies, some of the documentation has already been done listing the names of many original owners and dates built. If your building is listed in one of those sources, Scenic Block Island researchers will validate the information,, correct any conflicting information and furnish you with a printout of the results.

How do I find my home in the above resources?

You must know your Plat and Lot number to find any building on Block Island. Remember that Your home must have survived the Hurricane of 1938 and be at least 50% original.

What if my building is not listed in the Historic and Architectural Resources of Block Island, Rhode Island or The House Survey 2008 during Phase One?

You may decide to do your own research in the records at Town Hall or, for a very reasonable fee of $50, Scenic Block Island will research your land records and provide you with a printout of the results.

Can my building receive a plaque if it is not listed in the Historic and Architectural Resources of Block Island, Rhode Island or The Historic House Survey 2008?

Yes, as long as you meet the age criteria and you have documentation from Town Hall records to verify the age.

Does the plaque automatically make my house part of the National Historic Register?


Are there any financial benefits for owners if they have a plaque?

At this time there is no financial benefit

Is all or any part of the cost of the plaque deductible as a charitable donation?

Part of the total cost will directly pay for the creation of the plaque.  The balance will be a donation to Scenic Block Island, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.

Why does the plaque cost $250.00?

The costs are in the making of the plaque including research, development and maintaining of the website and donation to SBI. There is no tax added, the cost is $250.00.

Does Scenic Block Island have any control of my building when I purchase a plaque?

No. You are not obligated to conform to any committee or group (unless you live within the Historic District). We have no power to restrict or tell you what to do with your home. We simply want to recognize and highlight your historic home.

Does having a plaque on my building restrict me in making any alterations?

No, the plaque has no bearing. However, if your home is within the Historic District of Block Island there are restrictions.

Does my plaque have to stay on my home if I sell it?

We would prefer that it stays for all to enjoy, but we do not have any control over that. It is your home and you can do with it what you wish.

Does the plaque protect my home if I sell it and the new homeowner wants to tear it down?

No, the plaque does not offer any protection; the new owner must conform to the zoning laws of New Shoreham. Those laws do allow a home to be torn down, after a 6 month demolition delay. The entire zoning decision can be read here by clicking here.

Where can I see photos and stories about the other buildings with plaques?

We plan to put a photograph of every building that has received a plaque on our Scenic Block Island website and post it. We also plan to include any historic details that the owner would like to include.

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Plaque Pages

This is just the beginning. Learn more about the historic plaque project within the links below. And if you own a historic building on Block Island, please apply to get your own plaque.

Have you received notice from SBI that your building has been approved for a preservation plaque?

It’s time to take the last step and purchase your plaque. Just click the button below to be taken to the plaque purchase page.