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APTNE 2020 Annual Meeting & Symposium

20/20 Vision: New Uses for Old Buildings

Friday, February 28th, 2020
Providence, Rhode Island


Photo courtesy of Graduate Providence.

The Annual Symposium and Meeting will be held on February 28th, 2020 in the historic Biltmore Ballroom at the Graduate Providence in Providence, Rhode Island. 

This overarching theme for this years's Symposium "20/20 Vision: New Uses for Old Buildings" is about adaptive reuse and revitalization. The practice of adaptively reusing obsolete structures extends far back to the past.  As we move into the 21st Century and are confronted with issues like climate change, rapidly evolving technology, and overpopulation, it becomes more critical to reuse existing buildings and to make them relevant for future generations.

Industry professionals, artisans, students, and a facilities director will present topics ranging from fire alarm system upgrades to main street revitalization and from pattern language to creative infrastructure reuse.  We will have case studies ranging from site adaptation due to climate change to a building updated with improved performance and carbon savings.

 Our Keynote Speaker

Photo Courtesy of RISD.eduLiliane Wong’s focus on architectural interventions to existing structures led her to co-found the Int|AR Journal on design interventions and adaptive reuse, which promotes creative and academic explorations of sustainable environments through exemplary works of reuse. A long-time volunteer at soup kitchens, Wong emphasizes in her teaching the importance of public engagement in architecture and design. Other teaching and research areas include design as social activism; the mathematics of curved space; the low income, modular home; and technical textiles. She was recognized by Design Intelligence in 2018–19 as one of the top 25 most admired educators in the US in the fields of architecture, interiors and landscape architecture.

Wong is author of Adaptive Reuse: Extending the Lives of Buildings, co-author of Libraries – A Design Manual and contributing author of Designing Interior Architecture and Flexible Composite Materials in Architecture, Construction and Interiors. A registered architect in Massachusetts, she has practiced through her own firm, Mahon Wong Associates, as well as with the Boston firms of Perry Dean Rogers and FHCM. Key projects include the American Embassy in Jordan, Montclair Public Library, Hartford Public Library and the design of the Kore Library Furnishings Line. 

 In addition to the 11 presentations at the Symposium in the Baltimore Ballroom, this event will also include several additional activities available to all attendees including: 

  • A non-ticketed, Thursday night informal networking gathering within walking distance of the symposium venue/hotel at Murphy's Pub. 
  • A ticketed, reception directly after the symposium on Friday, held within the Graduate Providence Hotel in the Capital Ballroom.
  • Ticketed tours of multiple historic buildings in Providence including: Fleet Library and the RISD Interior Architecture Studio, South Street Landing, and First Baptist Church in America and John Brown House Museum. 

See below for the Symposium Agenda and more details about the receptions, lunch, and tours.



Additional Details:


  • A $25 discount will be applied to registration through Friday, February 7th. Full cost is:
    APTNE Member:  $125 (complimentary depending on sponsorship)
    Non-Member: $165
  • There is a discounted cost for our student and young professional members.
    APTNE Student:  $25  *non-member students also receive this discount
    APTNE Young Professional:  $50

  • Vendor Tables: $1,500
  • Reception Only:  $55
  • Tour tickets:  $20


  • There will be networking opportunities with Sponsor organizations at their tables throughout the day.
  • Vendor tables are available for purchase and come with two (2) lunches and two (2) tickets to the reception.  To purchase a vendor table select "Symposium: Vendor Table" ticket at registration.


  • Refreshments and snacks will be provided during registration and breaks.
  • A box lunch is available for purchase for $25 during registration.

Did you know that many of APTNE's sponsorship levels include free Symposium registrations, as well as vendor table opportunities and discounts?  Please consider becoming a new Sponsor for 2020 or renewing your lapsed sponsorship and show your support for APTNE and the preservation community.  Sign up here 

 Schedule of Events:


Thursday, February 27th
8:00 - 10:00 PM APTNE Pre-Symposium Networking
Murphy's Pub, 100 Fountain Street


 Friday, February 28th
8:00 - 9:00 AM Registration and Breakfast
17th Floor
9:00 - 9:15 AM APTNE Welcome Address
APTNE President, Rebecca Buntrock
9:15 - 9:45 AM Immortality Comes of Age: Adaptive Reuse in the Millennium
Keynote Speaker, Liliane Wong
9:45 - 10:15 AM Re-purposing White Elephants: Adaptive Reuse in Providence
Rachel Robinson
10:15 - 10:35 AM Coffee and Refreshment Break
L'Apogee and Narragansett Bayview Rooms
10:35 - 10:55 AM From Sacred to Secular: Adaptive Re-Use of Religious Structures
Stephanie Hoagland
10:55 - 11:15 AM Transforming a Mid-Century Dormitory into a High-Performance Asset
Amanda Sanders and Lori Ferriss
11:15 - 11:35 PM Shoring Up: Resiliency at Boston’s Historic Curley Community Center
Kelly Haigh and Mary Upton
11:35 PM - 11:55 PM Renewing Vitality in Downtown
Elise Johnson-Schmidt
11:55 PM - 12:05 PM Morning Q&A
12:05 - 1:30 PM Lunch, APTNE Annual Board Meeting
1:30 PM - 2:20 PM Power Transformation: How the Long-Vacant South Street Station Became an Education Hub for Rhode Island + Round Table Discussion
Pierson Booher, Nicholas Koulbanis, and Peining Lu with Round Table moderated by Derek Trelstad
2:20 PM - 2:40 PM When Modern Devices Meet Historic Finishes: The Evaluation of Fire Alarm System Upgrades at the NYPL
Michelle Dallhoff
2:40 PM - 2:50 PM [Super] Structure: Bridging the Rural Digital Divide through Infrastructure Preservation and Design Innovation
Anna Albrecht
2:50 PM - 3:00 PM Afternoon Q & A
3:00 PM - 3:20 PM Coffee & Refreshment Break
3:20 PM - 3:40 PM The Adaptive Reuse of a Watch Hill Historic District Highlight
Amy Jagaczewski
3:40 PM - 4:00 PM Extra! Extra! Read All About It!  Once a Library-Now a Library!
Luce Hillman and Marc Loranger
4:00 PM - 4:20 PM Toward a Pattern Language for Adaptive Reuse
Stephen Tilly
4:20 PM - 4:30 PM Afternoon Q & A
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Chapter Highlights, Closing Remarks
Rebecca Buntrock
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Reception
Capital Ballroom, 2nd Floor


Saturday, February 29th
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Tour 1: Fleet Library and RISD Studio 
Margot Nishimura (Dean of Libraries) and Liliane Wong
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Tour 2: South Street Landing
Pierson Booher and Team
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM Tour 3: First Baptist Church in America and John Brown House Museum
Dr. Joanne Schneider and onsite docents



APTNE Pre-Symposium Event- Thursday, February 27th

If you are in town the day before the symposium, please join us in a nearby Providence locale, Murphy's Pub, at 100 Fountain Street, for some beverages, nibbles, and good conversation on Thursday evening starting at 8:00 PM

Thank you, Righter Group, for sponsoring our Pre-Symposium event!



APTNE Symposium Reception- Friday, February 28th 

Our reception will begin immediately following the Symposium in the Capital Ballroom of the Graduate Providence, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  There will be an open bar and refreshments.  Reception Admission can be purchased for $40 with your Symposium ticket.

Tickets are also available to individuals not attending the Symposium, but who wish to attend the Reception only.  You may purchase a ticket for $55.  Select "Reception Only Ticket" when registering. 

Many thanks to our reception sponsor, Commodore Builders!



Tours- Saturday, February 29th

APTNE will be hosting three Saturday tours open to Members, Non-members, and Symposium guests.  A ticket can be purchased for these during registration.  Each tour qualifies for CEU's.  All of our tours are within 15 minute walking distance of our venue.

  • Tour 1: Fleet Library and the RISD Interior Architecture Studio, with Margot Nishimura and Liliane Wong (our keynote speaker), 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM.
    For the first part of the tour, Margot Nishimura, the Dean of Libraries at RISD, will lead a tour at 
    the new location of RISD’s Fleet Library. In 2006 Fleet relocated into the old bank hall of the former Hospital Trust Building (York & Sawyer 1917), as part of a significant adaptive reuse project.  Then, the group will be led by APTNE 2020 Keynote Speaker Liliane Wong on a very short walk across the river to  conduct a tour of the architectural studio spaces located on the main RISD campus. This tour qualifies for one (1) CEU.
  • Tour 2: South Street Landing, with members of the project team, 9:30 AM- 10:30 AM.   
    As a follow-up to the presentation and round table of South Street Landing, the project team will be conducting a tour of the iconic site, which was originally the Narragansett Electric/National Grid Power Station. The nearly 60,000 SF footprint of power station has been transformed into 265,000 square foot of adapted shared space. This revamped site incorporates and celebrates the history of the building, optimizes functionality and flexibility, and fosters collaboration between the multiple schools that share the building. The building now houses the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center – a state-of-the-art medical simulation and education facility for the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College – and administrative office space for Brown University. This tour qualifies for one (1) CEU.
  • Tour 3: John Brown House Museum and The First Baptist Church in America, 9:30 AM- 12:00 PM.  Please note that there is a .4 mile walk between sites. 
    This tour will explore two of Providence’s older buildings: the First Baptist Church in America and the John Brown House museum. The Meeting House of the First Baptist Church in America was built in 1774 - 1775 and was one of the largest church structures built in colonial America, able to seat 1,200 people. Joseph Brown, architect of the meeting house, used the 1728 "A Book of Architecture" by James Gibbs. The 185 foot steeple was erected in 3 1/2 days. The John Brown House, was built in 1788, by merchant, patriot, politician, and slave trader John Brown. He and his family were some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the early days of the United States and are the namesake of Brown University. The tour of the historic mansion will discuss some of the most pressing issues of the day: slavery, the American Revolution, the China trade, and the role Rhode Island played in the history of our nation. This tour qualifies for two (2) CEU's.




APTNE's hotel block has sold out. Other available hotels in the area include:

  • Renaissance Providence Downtown (12 minute walk from venue, 4 from train)
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton (4 minute walk from venue, 5 from train)
  • Courtyard by Marriot Providence Downtown (3 minute walk from venue, 8 from train)
  • Omni Providence Hotel (5 minute walk from venue, 10 from train)
  • The Dean (4 minute walk from venue, 11 from train)
  • Hotel Providence (4 minute walk from venue, 12 from train) 



Traveling to the Symposium/Reception/Tours 

There are a variety of ways to get to Providence, including train, plane, bus, and driving.  It is recommended that you take mass transit, which we kept in mind in picking the venue. 

  • The Providence train station is about an 8 minute walk from the venue.
  • The Greyhound Bus Stop is about a 4 minute walk from the venue.
  • The T.F. Green Airport is a about 13 minute drive from the venue.
  • There is valet parking available at the hotel.  Overnight parking for Registered Guests is $32/vehicle/night, parking for Non-Registered Guests attending a meeting is $18/vehicle. 
  • Taxis and Uber/Lyft are available from the hotel, train stations, and the airport.

All of our tours are within 15 minute walking distance of our venue.



Continuing Education

Continuing education credits will be provided for Friday's attendance at the Symposium (5.0 HSW credits), as well as 1.0+ CEU, to be confirmed, for each tour.  Please note your preference for reporting CEU's during the registration process.  Confirmation of attendance will be required on the day of the Symposium and tour.



Thank you for your continued support of APTNE! We look forward to seeing you in Providence!


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