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.
34 Thames Street
The Phillip Stevens House, c.1745, is on its original site. It is a four bay square plan house with a gable roof. The house has two stories and has a fine pediment doorway that seems to be original. The chimney in this house is located so that fireplaces on each floor heat the front and back rooms. The more usual plan for a house of this date would position the chimney so that three rooms could be served by individual fireplaces on each floor, leaving only the narrow room occupying the single bay unheated. In the case of the Stevens House this is the bay to the right of the front door.
In the basement, the base of the chimney is a type usually found in the early nineteenth century. The base is smaller and simpler than those built in the eighteenth century since they no longer needed to support a large kitchen fireplace. Furthermore, the construction is a mixture of brick some dating to the mid-eighteenth century, some of nineteenth century origin, and some from a private restoration done in the early 1960s. The tentative conclusion presently put forth is that the chimney may have been rebuilt in the early nineteenth century and this may have allowed some changes in the floor plan.
The Phillip Stevens House is only house owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation that was initially saved by Operation Clapboard and purchased by a private individual who conducted the restoration work. Certain period details were introduced to the house during the 1960s restoration to replace the original material. These elements included over-mantles, doors, mantles, and some moldings.
Photo of the house before restoration.