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.
A joint program of the Newport Restoration Foundation and the City of Newport, the annual Doris Duke Historic Preservation Awards encourage excellence in historic preservation efforts within the City of Newport, Rhode Island by recognizing exemplary preservation projects and educational activities and acknowledging individuals who have made significant, life-time contributions to the preservation of the built environment.
Christopher Townsend House (1725), Bridge Street, Newport, RI- Awarded to Karen Weber and Andy Segal for the exterior restoration and elevation of their home. The building was the first to follow the City of Newport’s guidelines for elevating historic buildings in the face of rising sea levels. This property sits at the lowest point in the historic Point neighborhood and has a history of flooding. Hurricane Sandy, storm water runoff, and high tides all caused significant flooding of the basement and first floor.
Midcliff (1886), Ruggles Avenue, Newport, RI- Awarded to Kirby Perkins Construction and Susan and George Petrovas for the exterior restoration of their Queen Anne Victorian-style home – Midcliff – originally designed by Peabody & Stearns. The project included the replacement of the failed modern roofing, flashings, chimney restorations, removal of multiple lead-based paint layers, and replication of original trim and siding details.
Rise to Redemption Walking Tours, Sankofa Community Connection, Newport, RI – Awarded to Niko Merritt for the development of an interactive walking tour that offers a look into the lives of Newport’s community of African heritage in the 18th century. The tour was developed in 2016 in response to the Black community’s lack of representation in Newport’s history. The tour goes beyond the typically discussed topics of enslavement and the European slave trade to humanize African heritage and clear up historical inaccuracies. The tour focuses on two individuals, Duchess and John Quamino, who fought for their freedom and became influential members of Newport society and highlights individuals who fought for the education and freedom of the Black community.
Serpentine Path, Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI- Awarded to The Preservation Society of Newport County for the landscape rehabilitation at The Breakers. The project expanded public access to the grounds and created a 1,500-foot-long path around the property from the Shepard Avenue gate on the north side to the Cliff Walk in the southeast corner. The path is part of a multi-phase plan to restore The Breakers’ 13-acre grounds.
Trevett School (1809), Third Street, Newport, RI – Awarded to Michael Terra for the exterior restoration and belfry reconstruction. The school was originally built by Eleazer Trevett on Barney Street, before being moved to Cherry Street, and finally to Third Street. The belfry was intact for the moves from Barney and Cherry Streets. However, the foundation had deteriorated significantly, requiring the building to be raised for foundation repairs. Significant care was taken to replicate the original belfry and preserve the original character of the school.
Henrietta Lieber House (1882), Newport, RI
Awarded to Mr. Hendrik and Mrs. Siobhan Kits van Heyningen for their exterior restoration of the late-19th century Shingle Style/Queen Anne house in the Kay-Catherine-Old Beach National Register Historic District. The 1882 house was originally designed by Newport architect, Dudley Newton. The home had been in the Kits van Heyningen family since the mid-1960s, but had fallen into disrepair for years after being abandoned following the passing of Hendrik’s grandparents. The Kits van Heyningens took on the home, and researched and reproduced the character-defining details that have now restored the house to a presentation closely matching its original. Highlights of the project included restoring the second-floor balcony on the front elevation (extended in the 1970s) back to its original size, matching custom mahogany trim to replace rotted and damaged pieces, and recreating missing balusters, railings, and corbels on the porch to match their original design. Single pane, historic-replica sashes for four windows were also fabricated to recreate the original 30-over-1 style. After extensive work and care, this restoration contributes to the preservation of the Kay-Catherine-Old Beach historic district and its late-19th century architecture for many more generations to enjoy.
St. John’s Masonry Preservation (1894), Newport, RI
Awarded to Father Nathan Humphrey; recognized for the preservation of a historic church located in the Point Neighborhood. The structure was originally built in 1894, when Sarah Titus Zabriskie heard of a young church founded by Peter Quire, an African American, named St. John’s that was in financial straits. Zabriskie donated $100,000 toward the building of the Zabriskie Memorial Church for St. John’s in memory of her late mother, Sarah Jane Zabriskie. The interior wall surfaces at St. John’s Church were damaged from decades of water intrusion. In 2019, the root causes of the deterioration, leaking roofs and gutters, were addressed with a roof repair utilizing both historic and new roof tiles, snow guards, gutters, and flashing. However, the next area of concern was the masonry walls, which were deteriorating, especially at the mortar joints. A repointing process removed and replaced deteriorated mortar, restoring the visual and physical integrity of the masonry. From the color and texture of mortar to the tools used in the repair, the masonry work is both physically and visually appropriate. Through their steadfast commitment to honoring the history of the building, St. John’s continues to carry on the legacies of Peter Quire and Sarah Titus Zabriskie’s to this day.
BankNewport (1930), Newport, RI
Awarded to BankNewport; recognized for the rehabilitation of a 90-year-old bank in Newport’s Washington Square. The structure was built between 1929 and 1930 and was designed with the intent to blend in seamlessly with its neighbors and the character of the square. When the building was recently evaluated for a new HVAC system, it was decided that the entire space should be rehabilitated. BankNewport determined that maintaining the branch’s historical integrity while balancing modern amenities was of the utmost importance. Highlights of the rehabilitation included mechanical and electrical updates, HVAC system replacement, exterior masonry restoration, and recreations of some of the building’s original artistry by local artisans such as hand-painted gold-leaf lettering on the exterior, ornate interior ceiling details, and the lobby’s decorative plaster. They also made several technical updates to enhance the banking and ATM experience. Ultimately, the building was carefully rehabilitated and restored in order to continue serving the exact purpose it was built for decades ago – as a community bank.
Edgar House “Sunnyside” (1885), Newport, RI
Awarded to Susan and Peter Metzger; recognized for rehabilitating and restoring an early example of brick colonial revival architecture. The house was built by the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead, & White between the years 1884 and 1886. In 2018, the house was purchased by Susan and Peter Metzger as a two-family home in need of preservation. Exterior restorations included repairing 20 wood columns, masonry, steps, and walkways. The 13 third floor dormers were all repaired and the roof was replaced. Inside, systems were upgraded, bathrooms were renovated, and a large-scale ceiling mural was also restored. In addition, the house was painted and the wood was refinished. After extensive work, Sunnyside is once again a stately one-family home.
International Tennis Hall of Fame: Frieze Restoration (1879-81), Newport, RI
Awarded to the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHOF); recognized for the restoration of a lost portion of historic fabric unique to the Newport Casino located on Bellevue Avenue. ITHOF is dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of the Newport Casino, which is where the museum resides. During the 20th century, the Newport Casino’s decorative “frieze,” or a horizontal board of sculpted or painted decoration, was replaced. Fortunately, many of the original frieze medallions were salvaged and stored at the museum. Due to their significant level of deterioration, the original medallions were not able to be reinstalled. Instead, 38 new circular and semicircular ornate medallions were hand carved to match the original size, motif, and carving techniques using historic photos and drawings. This project not only restored the historic frieze, it restored a portion of Newport’s past for all who pass through Newport’s downtown.
Hammersmith Road (1887), Newport, RI
Owned by Linda and Rocky Kempenaar; recognized for the rehabilitation of a nineteenth-century utilitarian out-building. The building was originally constructed in 1887 as a horse barn to support the larger Wild Moor Estate. Until its purchase by the Kempenaars in 2016, the property had been used as storage space and had never been fully utilized as a modern, residential structure. Highlights of the rehabilitation included upgrading mechanical systems to meet modern building codes and restoring historic windows, doors, radiators, and woodwork throughout the house. The Kempenaars’ goal for the rehabilitation was to demonstrate the adaptive reuse potential of utilitarian buildings and bring light to the network of outbuildings associated with historic Newport estates.
Restmere (1857) Middletown, RI
Awarded to Cheryl Hackett and John Grosvenor; recognized for rehabilitating a 10,000 square-foot dilapidated mansion originally designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn in 1857 for Alexander Van Rensselaer. The homeowners designed a rehabilitation plan that qualified for federal historic tax credits and, in so doing, preserved the building’s architectural integrity, documented the site’s history, and ensured the house would be economically sustainable for future stewards. Exterior restoration included painting, roof replacement, and historic wood window restoration. Interior restoration included repairing original cracked plaster walls and water-damaged ceilings, refinishing hardwood flooring, rebuilding fireplace hearths, and upgrading systems. Today, Restmere stands as an example of Richard Upjohn’s Italianate resort-style vernacular and is home to over 160 years of Rhode Island’s architectural, social, military, music, and Civil Rights history.
St. Columba’s Lych Gate (1897), Vaucluse Avenue, Middletown, RI
Awarded to St. Columba’s Chapel; recognized for restoring a rare American lych gate, a feature which traditionally serves as the entrance to an English churchyard. St. Columba’s timber framed lych gate was designed by prominent Gothic Revival architect Henry Vaughan, supervising architect of the Washington National Cathedral. Recently it was discovered that extensive damage by insects and other animals had affected both the appearance and the structural integrity of the Chapel’s iconic gate. The restoration work included in-kind replacement of the gate’s sculpted sill beams and roof shingles as well as leveling the stone floor and staining the entire structure. With its completion this past May, the project increases the beauty of St. Columba’s campus, served as the impetus for a Historic Preservation Trust campaign, and grants future generations the ability to enjoy St. Columba’s just as Newport residents in their carriages did one hundred years ago.
Vinland Ironwork (1880), Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI
Awarded to Salve Regina University; recognized for the restoration of the University’s cast- and wrought-iron fencing along Shepard and Ochre Point Avenues. The fencing was originally part of the Vinland Estate built by Peabody & Stearns in 1881-83, which was then gifted to the University in 1955. The project included foundry replication and casting of fence posts, panels, and piping that were damaged beyond repair as well as the return of fencing that had previously been removed from the original site. Protective measures, such as the installation of new curb stops along Shepard Avenue, were also taken to ensure the continued preservation of the historic fencing. The project was supported by a grant from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust, and now allows the fence to continue to be a focal point for students, faculty, and staff as they move about campus as well as visitors who regularly stroll along Ochre Point Avenue.
The Cattle Crib (1916), Beacon Hill Road, Newport, RI
Owned by Mark and Leslie Hull; recognized for the adaptive reuse of a former early twentieth century livestock pen, which had fallen into neglect during the past few decades. The structure was originally part of Swiss Village – previously known as Surprise Valley farm and associated to the Arthur Curtis James estate. The building was abandoned for farm use many decades ago and along with several adjacent farm buildings, was left to eventually deteriorate to a dilapidated state. This historic farm building has been completely renovated in an effort to bring back its original character, and is currently enjoyed by the property owners as a passive retreat.
26 – 30 Washington Square (1931), Newport, RI
Awarded to GA Washington Square, LLC; recognized for successfully reinvigorating a commercial space in Washington Square. The property is a two-story Colonial Revival brick masonry structure, built in 1931. The building has traditionally been used as office space on the second floor and commercial space on the first floor. The project, completed in 2017, restored the exterior above the storefront, replaced windows, cleaned and repointed masonry, and replicated the missing gable ornament, while also remolding the interior space. The building is presently home to the restaurant, Stoneacre Brasserie.
The Blue Garden (1911–1918), Beacon Hill Road, Newport, RI
Awarded posthumously to Dorrance “Dodo” Hill Hamilton; recognized for rebuilding an original historic landscape design to fit modern standards. The Blue Garden was first designed for Arthur Curtiss and Harriet Parsons James by Fredrick Law Olmstead Jr. After their passing in 1941, attention paid to maintain this labor-intensive property plummeted, and continued to be neglected after being subdivided and purchased by developers. In 2012, the property was purchased by Dorrance H. Hamilton — a noted philanthropist and garden enthusiast — and the restoration process began. Architects utilized original Olmsted dimensioned drawings to specify the rebuilding of garden structures to modern code and his plans were reinterpreted to keep the original intent but provide for more sustainable future management. Today, the Blue Garden is open by appointment to those who are affiliated with a group or institutions involved in gardens, design, the arts, maintenance, horticulture, historic preservation, landscape architecture, architecture, and education.
Mailands & Westcliff Carriage House (1875), 37 Ledge Road
Owned by Dr. Holly Bannister and Mr. Douglas Newhouse; recognized for rehabilitating an 1875 carriage house by preserving and restoring much of its original historic character after years of incompatible alterations. By late 2012, the building, previously a dependency of both the Mailands and Westcliff estates, was not only aesthetically altered, but was structurally imperiled by poorly executed past repairs. Recognizing the historical significance of the carriage house, and the imminent danger it was in, the new owners committed to ensuring its preservation while also giving it a new life.
Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center (1730; 1902; 1915), 82 Touro Street
Owned by the Newport Historical Society; recognized for successfully integrating the old with the new. The property encompasses three separate historic buildings that reflect the development of the NHS since its founding. With a professional commitment to adaptive reuse of these historic buildings, the NHS brought new life to each of these existing buildings. Despite many challenges, NHS was able to maintain the architectural identity of the complex while accommodating a robust 21st-century program of staff and visitor activities.
Sachuest Point Landscape Restoration, Sachuest Point Road, Middletown, RI
Completed by the Scenic Aquidneck Coalition, a joint effort of the Aquidneck Land Trust, the Preservation Society of Newport County, Preserve Rhode Island, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, National Grid, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; recognized for addressing coastal resiliency and demonstrating the power of collaboration. This project removed a two-mile stretch of unsightly utility poles along Sachuest Point, after the road and dunes were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The project not only strengthened the infrastructure of the landscape, increasing its resiliency to coastal storms in the future, but returned this area to its original historic and scenic appearance.
Eisenhower House (1873), One Lincoln Drive
Owned by the State of Rhode Island; recognized for bringing so beautifully and completely back to life one of Newport’s great Victorian gems through a complete renovation, begun in 2013, in which special care was taken to conserve original features such as wooden sash windows and the signature grand staircase of architect George Champlin Mason.
Samuel Durfee Barn (ca. 1850-76), 352 Spring Street
Owned by Heather and Michael de Pinho; recognized for saving one of the most vulnerable kinds of historic buildings (i.e., those built with utility rather than impressive street view in mind) and maintaining so thoughtfully Newport’s mid nineteenth-century architectural heritage, while adapting the interior, with extensive reuse of original materials, for residential living.
Harbour Court (completed 1906), 5 Halidon Avenue
Owned by the New York Yacht Club; recognized for the exemplary approach to returning exterior finishes of one of Newport’s great early twentieth-century houses to their original splendor and reworking a kitchen addition to better match the Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson design of the historic building.
The Audrain Building (1902-03), 220-230 Bellevue Avenue
Owned by American Realty Capital; recognized for returning the exterior of this landmark commercial building to its original 1903 Renaissance Revival splendor.
Victorian Gothic barn (ca. 1853) at 67 Second Street
Owned by David and Laura Pedrick; recognized for the rescue, relocation, and restoration, preserving close to 85% of original material, of this distinct utilitarian building form that is among the last of its kind in Newport.
Quatrel (1853; altered ca. 1900), 669 Bellevue Avenue
Owned by Jay and Brenda Wilson; recognized for the painstaking and meticulous restoration of the house to its ca. 1900 redesign by Ogden Codman, Jr., with a mix of Italianate and French Provincial elements.
The Newport Tree Society/The Newport Arboretum
For its city-wide heritage horticulture projects of restoration and community education about Newport’s historic landscape.
Cliffside Inn (c. 1876)
Bill & Nancy Bagwill for a meticulously restored inn that conveys a clear affection for historic architecture and interiors.
Seaweed (c. 1860 and c.1902)
Holly Bannister and Douglas Newhouse for taking a purist preservation approach, changing very little and restoring as much as possible.
Aloha Landing Boathouse
Samuel & Ann Mencoff
Old Acre Carriage House
William & Eve Woodhull
Ochre Lodge Carriage House
Salve Regina University
392 Spring Street
Robert & Valerie Carbone
665 Bellevue Avenue
Linda Sawyer & John D. Harris II
Bellevue Avenue History Trail sign project
The Preservation Society of Newport County
Distinguished Steward Award
John G. Winslow
82 Thames Street
Cheryl Auger and Chris Peck
Wrentham Carriage House, 325 Ocean Drive
Ashley and Frank O’Keefe
International Tennis Hall of Fame
Stanford White Casino Theater
Marion Oates Charles
Berkeley House, 1 Berkeley Avenue
James and Alice Ross
Channing Memorial Church, 135 Pelham Street
for Steeple and Bells Restoration Project
Redwood Hose Station 8, 118 Prospect Hill
The Clemens Family
Aquidneck Mill, 449 Thames Street
International Yacht Restoration School
73 Division Street
“Edgehill,” 31 Beacon Hill Road
Carol and Les Ballard
North and East Ramparts and East Barracks at Fort Adams
Fort Adams Trust
Noreen Stonor Drexel
40 Division Street
3 Memorial Boulevard
Lila Delman Real Estate
Redwood Library and Athenaeum