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.
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.
Since its founding, the Newport Restoration Foundation has restored and preserved more than eighty 18th- and early 19th-century buildings, seventy-four of which are currently rented as private residences to tenant stewards and maintained by a full-time crew of carpenters and painters. This is one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by an organization in the U.S. More importantly, the majority of these structures are lived in and used as they have been for three centuries, making them an enduring and defining feature of the historic architectural fabric of Newport and a source of pride for the community.
Through the organization’s Historic Trades Initiative, local contractors can nominate members of their workforce, or themselves, for the 12-week program. Upon completion, the participants will receive a Preservation Trades Specialist Certification from NRF. The Preservation Trades Specialist Training Program Fall ‘23 has been made possible through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
For more information, please use the link below.
This five-bay, gambrel-roofed dwelling is one of NRF's most intact historic houses, retaining early 19th-century architectural fabric and detail. From the Civil War until NRF's purchase, 29 Mary Street was owned by Daniel Smith and his descendants, a prominent African-American family in Newport.
Deeds confirm that this building was, by the third decade of the 19th-century, owned by Mansfield, but earlier provenance – including its original construction date – has proven elusive due to the proximity of this property to 16 Dennison Street (ca.1846; restored 1973), also an NRF preservation property.
Home to Mahlon van Horne, the first African-American elected (1885) to the Rhode Island General Assembly, the Tabor House appears externally to be a well-balanced four-bay, square plan house, but numerous features – including a false window and oddly placed vertical structural members – reveal a more complicated interior program.
Located on its original 18th-century Quaker lot, and built by the ship owner and sea-faring brother of renowned cabinetmakers, Christopher and Job Townsend, 51 Second Street’s two story, three bay plan with central chimney is a common 18th-century house form in Newport.
Originally located at the Champlin Wharf on Thames Street, this preservation of this building represents how NRF responded to potential demolitions – often on short notice and with fragmentary documentation about what might lie beneath later architectural alterations.
Located in a neighborhood that was originally comprised of small houses on narrow lanes surrounded by farmland to the south, the Davis House is an example of early 19th-century vernacular construction – simply constructed and ornamented houses.
2009 West Main Road
32 Clarke Street
2562 West Main Road
51 Second Street
41 Mill Street
58 Thames Street
When I started working at NRF 26 years ago, I was told there are two things you need to throw away – your level and your square. Nothing is level, nothing is square. Make it look like it's always been there.
—Peter Raposa, Mill Supervisor at NRF for 27 years
It really is the people that make NRF a great place to work. And its not only because of my co-workers – we've formed great relationships with our tenants over the years as well. It feels like family.
—Brian McCarthy, Paint Supervisor at NRF for 34 years
At the mill, I enjoy being challenged. When creating custom moldings, I really do my best to get them exact so when the crew goes to install, all they have to do is to run sandpaper over the area and it will all fit perfectly.
To be a painter on our houses, you have to be sixty percent artist and forty percent tradesperson.
—Mike King, Painter at NRF for 18 years