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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.

Award Recipients

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

Distinguished Steward
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
Alexandra Allardt

“Edgehill,” 31 Beacon Hill Road
Carol and Les Ballard

North and East Ramparts and East Barracks at Fort Adams
Fort Adams Trust

Distinguished Steward
Noreen Stonor Drexel

40 Division Street
Nicholas Scheetz

3 Memorial Boulevard
Lila Delman Real Estate

Redwood Library and Athenaeum

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