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.
Visit Doris Duke’s art-filled mansion and enjoy panoramic ocean views from the extensive grounds. Open late March to November.
The Vernon House is a site for expansive story-telling, contemporary dialogue, and preservation trades skill-building.
Opening July 1, 2023: NRF and Art&Newport are excited to present a group artists exhibition on cards and card playing: Games, Gamblers & Cartomancers: The New Cardsharps
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.
Check out this helpful, annotated list of our favorite books, articles and web links related to Historic Preservation and Architecture.
Preservation & Architectural History Bibliography
Bridenbaugh, Carl. Peter Harrison, First American Architect, University of North Carolina Press, 1949. Harrison lived in Newport and designed several buildings in the city during the 18th century. Out of print
Downing & Scully. The Architectural History of Newport Rhode Island – 1649 to 1915, Clarkson Potter Inc, 1967, 2nd edition. The standard text on Newport architecture. May be difficult to find.
Guinness, Desmond & Sadler Jr., Julius. Newport Preserv’d, Viking Press, 1982. Addresses preservation efforts in Newport in the 1960s & 1970s, well illustrated, out of print.
Isham, Norman, & Brown, Albert F. Early Rhode Island Houses, Preston & Rounds, 1895
Stachiw, Myron O. The Early Architecture & Landscape of the Narragansett Basin, The Vernacular Architecture Forum, 2001. Published for the 2001 annual conference. Printed in limited numbers – vol. I is on Newport, vol. II is on the East & West Bay, and vol. III is on the Blackstone River Valley & Providence. Try the VAF web site for possible copies.
Yarnall, James L. Newport Through Its Architecture, Salve Regina University Press, 2005. A look at Newport’s diverse architecture from the beginning to the present.
Beckerdite, Luke – editor. American Furniture – 1999, Chipstone Foundation, 1999. This is a yearly publication; there are several pieces on Newport and Rhode Island furniture and makers.
Beckerdite, Luke – editor. American Furniture – 2000, Chipstone Foundation, 2000. Includes a piece on the early furniture of Christopher & Job Townsend.
Greene, Jeffery P. American Furniture of the 18th Century, Taunton Press, 1996. Good overall approach to 18th century furniture styles combined with excellent drawings showing the construction of the pieces. Many are Newport in origin.
Moses, Michael. Master Craftsmen of Newport, American Press, 1984. An expensive, out-of-print volume that is important to the study of Townsend-Goddard furniture.
Sack, Albert. The New Fine Points of Furniture – Early American, Crown Publishing, 1993. While not devoted to Newport furniture, Newport pieces figure in the book with comparisons to works from other 18trh century colonial cities.
General Architectural, 18th century
Ayres, James. Building the Georgian City, Yale University Press, 1998.
Cummings, Abbott Lowell. The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, Belknap Press, 1979.
Isham, Norman. Early Connecticut Houses, Dover edition, first, 1965
Palladio, Andrea. The Four Books on Architecture, MIT Press 1998.
Parissien, Steven. The Georgian House in Britain and America, Rizzoli, 1995.
Trevernor, Robert. Palladio and Palladianism, Thames and Hudson, 1991.
Hafertepe, Keneth & O’Gorman, James F. American Architects and Their Books to 1848, University of Press, 2001.
General Preservation Titles
Barthel, Diane. Historic Preservation, Rutgers University Press, 1966
Brand, Stuart. How Buildings Learn, Penguin Books, 1994.
Lindgren, James M. Preserving Historic New England, Oxford University Press, 1995.
Mansfield, Howard. The Same Ax, Twice, University Press of New England, 2000.
Preservation Guides & References
Bristow, Ian. Interior House Paint Colours & Technique 1615 – 1846, Yale University Press, 1996.
Bucher, Ward, editor. Dictionary of Building Preservation, Preservation Press, 1996.
Bullock, Orin M. The Restoration Manuel, Silvermine Publishers, 1966
Candee, Richard. House Paints in Colonial America, Chromatic Publishing Co., out of print.
Hoadley, R. Bruce. Identifying Wood Taunton Press, 1990.
Kitchen, Judith L. Caring For Your Old House, Preservation Press, 1991.
Maycock, Susan & Zimmerman,Sarah. Painting Historic Exteriors, Cambridge Historical Commission, 1998.
Millar, William. Plastering Plain and Decorative, BUT. Bats ford, 1897; reprinted Don head Publishing Ltd., 2001.
Miller, Judith & Martin. Period Finishes and Effects, Rizzoli, 1992.
Moss, Roger, editor. Paint in America, Preservation Press, 1994.
Nash, George. Restoring Old Houses, Taunton Press, 1998.
Nylander, Richard C. Wallpaper in New England, University Press of New England, 2000.
Phillips, Steven J. Old House Dictionary, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1994.
Weeks, Kay D. & Grimmer, Anne E. The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1995.
Whelehel, Harriet – editor. Caring For Your Historic House, Harry Abrams Inc., 1998.
Wilbur, C. Keith. Homebuilding & Woodwork in Colonial America, The Globe Pequot Press, 1992.
Nineteenth Century Newport Architecture and History
Beveridge, Charles E. and Rocheleau, Paul. Frederick Law Olmsted, Designing the American Landscape, Universe Publishing, 1995.
Croffut, William A. The Leisure Class in America, The Vanderbilts and the Story of Their Fortune, Arno Press, 1975.
Downing, Andrew Jackson. The Architecture of Country Houses, Dover Publications, 1969.
Downing, Antoinette F. and Scully, Vincent J. Jr. The Architectural Heritage of Newport, R.I., 1640-1915, Clarkson Potter, 1967, 2nd ed.
Elliott, Maude Howe. This Was My Newport, The Mythology Co., 1944.
Foreman, John and Robbe, Pierce Stimson. The Vanderbilts and the Gilded Age: Architectural Aspirations, 1879-1901, St. Martin’s Press, 1991.
Kathrens, Michael C. The Residential Architecture of Horace Trumbauer, Acanthus Press, 2002.
Roth, Leland. McKim, Mead, and White, Architects, Harper and Row, 1983
Patterson, Jerry. The Vanderbilts, Harry Abrams Inc., 1989.
Scully, Vincent J. Jr.. The Shingle Style and Stick Style, Yale University Press, 1971.
Wharton, Edith and Codman, Ogden. The Decoration of Houses, W.W. Norton & Co., 1978 (reprint edition).
Wilson, Richard Guy, Pilgrim, Diane H., and Murray, Richard N. The American Renaissance, 1876-1917, Pantheon Books, 1979.
Wilson, Richard Guy. McKim, Mead, and White Architects, Rizzoli International, 1983.
Yarnall, James L. Newport Through Its Architecture, Salve Regina University Press, 2005. A look at Newport’s diverse Architecture from the beginning tocurrent day.
Newport History [Short sampler list – helpful to contextualizing 18th century architecture]
Crane, Elaine Forman. A Dependent People: Newport, RI in the Revolutionary Era, Fordham University Press, 1992.
James, Sydney V. Colonial Rhode Island, A History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1975. A rather detailed history from founding through the Revolutionary War. Newport occupies an import and major place in the book. (out of print)
James, Sydney V. The Colonial Metamorphoses in Rhode Island, University Press of New England, 2000
Jefferys, C.P.B. Newport, A Short History, Newport Historical Society, 1992. Good basic overview of Newport history.
Youngken, Richard. African Americans in Newport, Newport Historical Society, 1998. Good information on the 18th century.
HELPFUL WEB SITES
National Trust of Historic Preservation
Historic New England
Vernacular Architecture Forum
Preservation Trades Network
Preservation Resource Group
US Heritage Group
The Association for Preservation Technology International
National Park Service Preservation Services
Abatron – Epoxy wood fillers
Obdyke – Cedar Breather
Thermocrete USA – Chimney Lining
National Chimney Sweeps Guild
Old House Web – Old House Maintenance and Repair
Old House Journal Magazine
Traditional Building Magazine
Information about the history of house paint and about NRF's own historic colors (including sources for buying your own).
Want to learn more about Historic Home Maintenance? Check out NRF's recommendations for expert resources in common mistakes, National Preservation Organizations, vinyl, windows, books and more!
A helpful review of building styles between 1620 and 1840.
Every house has a story to tell, and uncovering that story is like a treasure hunt. Take the time to sift through the records and the history of your property will slowly unfold. You will come to learn more about the history of the structure, its residents, and its role in a larger neighborhood story.