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NRF Announces 14th Annual Doris Duke Historic Preservation Award Honorees

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Meaghan Barry Fernandes
401–846–4152, x 112 /

Newport, RI— The 14th annual Doris Duke Historic Preservation Awards will recognize three recent projects for their contributions to preserving Newport’s architectural heritage and historic character. The awards will be presented on Friday, September 11, 2020 in a virtual celebration.

The Doris Duke Preservation Awards are a collaboration of the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) and the City of Newport. The awards recognize and celebrate preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation projects that help to protect the historic sites, landscapes, and overall character of Aquidneck Island. The award winners were chosen by a jury comprised of representatives from the Newport Restoration Foundation, the City of Newport, and individuals involved in historic preservation at the local and state levels.

This year, NRF recognizes the following projects:

BankNewport (1930), Washington Square, 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), Old Beach Road, 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), Bellevue Avenue, 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.

“The 2020 Doris Duke Preservation Awards represent that historic preservation is equally about focused and skilled restoration as it is about integrating that restoration into the needs of a modern space,”  said NRF’s Director of Preservation, Alyssa Lozupone. “I applaud the choices each of these property owners made to prioritize historic preservation when inertia could easily have dictated otherwise. My gratitude goes out to them for helping to preserve Newport’s architectural heritage.”

Since its inception 14 years ago, the Doris Duke Historic Preservation Awards have raised nearly half a million dollars to support historic preservation in Newport. This signature celebration recognizes members of our community who have embodied Doris Duke’s vision of protecting Newport’s architectural heritage and who have made significant contributions to the preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation of historic structures and landscapes. The Awards, which provide support to NRF’s continued efforts in advancing historic preservation activities, are named in her honor.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for individuals and organizations to lend support to this important annual fundraiser for NRF. Each level of support includes exclusive opportunities and perks like special experiences, museum tickets, swag bags, and much more. Visit to learn more about sponsorship and how to join the virtual celebration on Friday, September 11.

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