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.
Tour Doris Duke’s art-filled mansion and enjoy panoramic ocean views from the extensive grounds, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Open late March to November.
Experience the only museum in the world specializing in 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts. Open late May to October.
Explore 40 acres of open space, a tribute to the agrarian heritage of Aquidneck Island. The site is open daily from dawn to dusk for public enjoyment.
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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32 Clarke Street
The Simon Pease House is one of the earliest buildings in the architectural collection of the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF). Built c.1700, it has a seventeenth-century frame and interior. The exterior treatment reflects the style of the second quarter of the eighteenth century. This type of modernization of early houses was not uncommon in Newport. The building is on its original site and was purchased by NRF in 1969 and restored in 1971.
The house, as purchased, had been subjected to many additions and style changes. The interior of the building revealed a very early, heavy timber-framed house with parts of an end chimney containing a large fireplace on the first floor. These features are quite typical of both seventeenth-century Newport and Rhode Island building practices. What is not as clear is the random approach to additions in the rear that virtually covered all the available land with one-, two-, and three-story structures, some of which were supported on stilts.
Underneath the nineteenth- and twentieth-century exterior changes, other exterior elements that had been modernized in the eighteenth century were discovered. The roof had been given lower kick rafters, allowing for a more fashionable overhang and cornice, and were still visible in parts of the original attic when the house was purchased. This feature was incorporated into the restoration.
During that same period, casement windows were replaced with new frames and sash, and the doorway was changed. It is also possible that a very short addition may have been added to enclose the chimney, and a bay or room section added on to the south end.
Photo of the house before restoration.