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Newport Restoration Foundation Announces 17th Annual Doris Duke Historic Preservation Award Honorees 

August 24, 2023, Newport, RI— The Newport Restoration Foundation is announcing the recipients of its annual Doris Duke Historic Preservation Awards for their exemplary projects of historic preservation in Newport. The 2023 awards also seek to highlight innovative approaches to preservation, including new technologies, materials/products, creative adaptive reuse, excellence in practice, climate change adaptations, and similarly progressive concepts.   

The Doris Duke Preservation Awards are a collaboration of the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) and the City of Newport. The awards celebrate individuals for preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation projects and educational activities that help protect the historic sites, landscapes, and overall character of Newport County. The awards are juried by representatives from the Newport Restoration Foundation, the City of Newport, and individuals involved in local preservation practice.  

For this year’s awards, NRF recognizes the following outstanding projects:  

Newport Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission, Newport, RI- Awarded to the Newport Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission (HCAC), a nine-member volunteer appointed commission to assist the city in efforts to preserve, protect and promote Newport’s historic burying grounds. The HCAC’s recent work has focused on improving site access, expanding funding, repairing headstones, and increasing educational content for the City’s eight burial grounds that serve as important historic public spaces.  

The Captain William Finch House (c. 1770), 78 Washington Street, Newport, RI- Awarded to Dave and Jenay Evans for the exterior and interior restoration of their 18th-century home. The project fully restored the building from a state of structural disrepair and transformed it into a vibrant home. The project carefully retained the building’s original craftsmanship and detailing while updating the property to code.  

Newport Tree Conservancy, Newport, RI– Awarded to the Newport Tree Conservancy for the Heritage Tree Center, a community resource to study, protect, and propagate Rhode Island’s most unique, historic, and at-risk heritage trees. The Center is preserving and propagating the genetic lines of historic trees statewide for public and private planting. It also engages Newport students to expand the community’s involvement in the horticultural process. 

The Sailing Museum, 365 Thames Street, Newport, RI- Awarded to the Sailing Museum for the adaptive use of the historic Newport Armory (1894). The project, undertaken in collaboration with the City of Newport and contractor Kirby Perkins, transformed the Armory into a multi-use public and private space in the heart of Thames Street. The project included timely exterior repairs to preserve the building while updating the interior to be a welcoming public space.  

 “This year’s award recipients represent the wide variety of cultural preservation projects accomplished by individuals and groups across the city.” said NRF’s Director of Preservation, Alyssa Lozupone. “And we are introducing the new President’s Award, for excellence in preservation, which we will announce at the event. We are excited to celebrate community-minded ventures that further educational and social initiatives surrounding heritage and preservation in Newport.”  

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