Block Island, Rhode Island aerial view from South with Rhode Island Coastline in the distance. Source =Timothy J. Quill

The Preservation Society of Newport County recently announced that the architect and contractor who performed the historically informed restoration of the Block Island Southeast Lighthouse will shine light on the complex project during a lecture Thursday, Feb. 27, at noon at Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Ave.

Richard Ventrone, preservation architect for The Preservation Society of Newport County, and preservation contractor Keith Lescarbeau of Abcore Restoration Co. in Narragansett will discuss the complexities of documenting, researching and restoring the lighthouse. Built in 1874, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997 and is considered one of the most architecturally significant U.S. lighthouses of its time. The comprehensive restoration of the tower, using original drawings and materials and employing 19th-century techniques, was completed in November 2019. Work on the interior is ongoing.

The lecture, “Restoring Block Island’s Southeast Lighthouse,” is the fourth in the Preservation Society’s Winter Lecture Series. Admission costs $5 for Preservation Society members and $10 for the general public. For more information or to register, visit or call (401) 847-1000.

Ventrone’s portfolio includes numerous restorations of historic structures throughout Rhode Island and in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including the Rose Island, Plum Beach and Dutch Island lighthouses in Narragansett Bay. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Roger Williams University School of Architecture and is a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Lescarbeau founded Abcore Restoration in 1978, specializing in historic building restoration. His work has been recognized by awards including the Stephen J. Tyson Sr. Artisan Award in 2010 and Historic Preservation Project Awards in 2010 and 2014, all from Preserve Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.

The final lecture in the Preservation Society’s Winter Lecture Series will be “Aquidneck Stone Wall Initiative: Preserving the Island’s Historic Character” with Leigh Schoberth, senior preservation services manager for Historic New England, on Thursday, March 19, at noon.


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