Skip to main content Skip to home page

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.

Preservation property detailimage

Photo of the house before restoration.

Back to top