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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415 Thames Street
The Joseph Record House is a two-story, end-to-the-street house built in 1835 on the present site. It has a simple, yet nicely detailed Greek Revival doorway accessed by the side yard. The proportions and scale of the building are not Greek Revival, yet the trim and doorway are very similar to the Clarke Burdick House at 413 Thames , which has more appropriate scale and detail. The Joseph Record House was purchased by the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) in 1969 and restored in 1973-74.
When NRF purchased the house, it had succumbed to the inevitable alterations effected on houses in changing commercial areas. The street façade had two plate glass windows, a centered glass door, and a fair amount of brick veneer trim that gave street identity to a barbershop. It is interesting and fortunate that the original doorway, cornice and corner board trim, and a window frame or two survived the various changes. These elements helped guide the restoration process.
There was a center chimney in the building at the time of purchase, but it had been much reduced in size. This probably occurred when gas and kerosene heaters became popular, enabling the homeowner to do away with the larger chimney in order to modernize the heating source and gain floor or closet space.
NRF rebuilt the larger chimney with fireplaces, removed the glass and brick in the barbershop, and restored the first-floor and basement levels. (The floor had been removed in order to achieve a street-level shop.)
The Joseph Record House and the Clarke Burdick House were purchased as a parcel from the same owner in 1969. Both were envisioned as giving some protection to the Samuel Whitehorne House (across the street and slated by Miss Duke to become a museum) rather than for their pure architectural or historical importance.
Photo of the house before restoration.