NRF promotes and invests in the architectural heritage of the Newport community, the traditional building trades, and Doris Duke’s fine and decorative arts collections, for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of all.
As a leader in the preservation of early American architecture, NRF supports research and education in areas directly related to its collections and issues of critical concern to the field of historic preservation.
Tour Doris Duke’s art-filled mansion and enjoy panoramic ocean views from the extensive grounds, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Open April to November.
Experience the only museum in the world specializing in 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts.
Explore 40 acres of open space, a tribute to the agrarian heritage of Aquidneck Island. The site is open daily from dawn to dusk for public enjoyment.
Newport Restoration Foundation holds one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by a single organization anywhere in the United States.
Celebrate excellence in historic preservation efforts within the City of Newport, Rhode Island.
Live amidst history by renting one of our many historic properties.
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2 Marlborough Street
Built c. 1730, the John Coddington House stands on its original site. It is a two-story building with two interior chimneys and a gambrel roof. The house was enlarged and altered in the mid-eighteenth century. After being purchased by the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) in 1971, it was restored in 1973-74 to reflect those later changes rather than restore the original structure as it was in 1730.
The house has several interesting features of which the roof and the doorway are perhaps the most noteworthy. Rather than the steep roofline typically found in eighteenth-century Newport, the gambrel roof is quite broad. The doorway was copied by NRF from the shell-hooded doorway of the Ayrault House at the Newport Historical Society. This decision was based on records indicating that in 1737 John Stevens made a doorway for Coddington using the Ayrault House doorway as a model.
The Coddington House underwent several early changes. The 1730 building was smaller and probably had a center chimney. The shell doorway was likely a part of a 1737 enlargement. The house received significant changes to the interior, as well as the addition of a window bay on the west end, during the Greek revival period (1820 to 1850). The first-floor rooms had been redone rather elegantly in the Greek style and this was maintained during the restoration. The second and third floors still reflect eighteenth-century details.
About 1900, the house was raised to make way for commercial space at ground level. This was a common practice in Newport and many eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century buildings are still like this today. The commercial space created when the house was first raised was used for a grocery store. Its last use before being lowered by NRF was for a furniture store. The lowering process, however, was somewhat complex. The house was raised slightly and blocked while the commercial walls were demolished. The house was then lowered and rolled back into the yard while a cellar hole was dug and concrete walls poured. Finally, the house was rolled forward over the new cellar to its original street-level position.
Photo of the house before restoration.