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.
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56 Farewell Street
The Almy -Taggart House is a two-story house with a large interior chimney and a gambrel roof. The building is set end-to-the-street with the main entry on the street façade. Built c.1710, the house is on its original site. It was purchased by the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) in 1973 and restored in 1975.
It is thought that this house began as a one-room, end-chimney building, very much in Newport's first period style and that it was built sometime between 1710 and 1720. Indications of a one-room structure showed in the first-floor framing during investigations of the building prior to restoration. A major enlargement of this early building took place in the mid-eighteenth century, giving it the appearance of a typical Newport] building of the second period, also referred to as the Georgian period.
During the preliminary restoration process, unique siding was also discovered. The siding is beaded at the lower edge, random in width, and with rabbets at top and bottom. This allows the siding to lie flat when applied to the wall, rather than overlapped as are standard clapboards.
The house had several owners in the mid-eighteenth century, but it is not known if an individual owner enlarged the house, or if several owners played a part in the various changes.
It is believed, however, that Job Almy's advertisements in issues of the Newport Mercury of 1760 regarding a house "newly painted blue" probably refer to the Almy-Taggart House. Blue pigments, particularly Prussian blue, were advertised in the Mercury as early as the 1750s. It was a newly available pigment, imported from England, and only discovered as a process about 1710 in Prussia. Blue pigments were considered to be very stylish and thus would have been a selling point for the house.
Photo of the house before restoration.