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.
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11 Third Street
The Daniel Lyman House is one among many small, two-room-plan Newport cottages with one-and-a-half stories and a gambrel roof. To the rear of the house, there is a full-length, early lean-to of one story. The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) has five in its collection, with dates ranging from 1730 to 1807. Many other similar examples in Newport are owned by private individuals. The house was built c.1777 and 1795 and originally stood at 28 Kingston Avenue. It was purchased by NRF in 1968, moved to its current site in 1974, and restored in 1974-75.
Dating the house is somewhat confusing. This type of cottage was very popular over so long a period of time, that design, construction, and fabric often do not give definitive clues to specifically reliable dates. NRF uses the date 1795 based largely on the mantles and trim in the house. These details, however, could have been put into an earlier house to modernize it during the Federal period. Another date sometimes used to date the house is 1777, when a building appears on the Blascowitz Map of that same year on the Kingston Avenue site where the Daniel Lyman House originally stood. This building could have existed in 1777 in any number of configurations. Until information is uncovered regarding deed records or Lyman family records, both 1777 and 1795 as two plausible dates for the house.
NRF purchased the land on which the Daniel Lyman House sits as part of a transaction that included the Thomas Townsend House at 53 Bridge and the William Gardner House at 51 Bridge Street. Such package deals occurred frequently in the early days of NRF. Property owners would often lump properties together as a way to unload deteriorating buildings and escape the financial perils of a declining low-rent market. As a result, NRF would at times find it necessary to buy two or three buildings in order to obtain a desired eighteenth-century structure.
Photo of the house before restoration.