November 17, 2017

Preservation Personals: Own a Piece of the Gilded Age in Newport

  • By: Meghan White

When first built in 1877, I was very “en vogue,” as my original owners would say. My Stick style architecture and location in snazzy Newport, Rhode Island, signaled to the town that I belonged to a wealthy family who could afford to build a secondary home (me) to live in just for the summers.

Back then I was referred to as a “cottage.” But today I know that I—all 9,000 square feet of me—hardly fit that description. Whether you're enjoying the gardens, swimming pool, or clay tennis court on the two acres that surround me, it's hard not to notice my rising gables and shingled facade peaking through the trees.

Like some of my contemporary neighbors, I was built of brick, clapboards, and shingles, with embellished brackets beneath my eaves and a porte-cochere for arriving carriages and later, automobiles. The porte-cochere is attached to a brick porch that wraps around for enjoying the breezes from the Atlantic Ocean when it's pleasant outside. From the number of elaborate brick chimneys sticking up from my roof, you can tell that I also have plenty of fireplaces to warm up by if it's too cold to be outdoors.

I know I look impressive from the outside, but I’m even more so once you step through my front door. There’s something that will catch your eye every which way you look. I’m partial to my impressive wood-paneled center hall that rises up to the third story, my elaborate parquet floors, and my cheery dining room with large windows overlooking the yard.

I’ve been many things in my life, but mainly a fashionable summer cottage and a cozy sub-divided apartment. Things have changed now, though, and I’m ready to welcome the next family who might want to spend more than a summer in the City by the Sea. Read more about me here.

An impressive Stick style facade in remarkably good condition.

photo by: Francis Dzikowski

Newport, RI, 02840.

The center hall originally extended through the third story.

photo by: Francis Dzikowski

My central hall might be large, but it's also inviting.

Enjoy dinner in a spacious and brightly lit room.

photo by: Francis Dzikowski

Enjoy a meal with views overlooking the garden.

Meghan White is a historic preservationist and an assistant editor for Preservation magazine. She has a penchant for historic stables, absorbing stories of the past, and one day rehabilitating a Charleston single house.

mwhite@savingplaces.org

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