Request for Proposals: Graphic Support for Newport’s Design Guidelines for Elevating Historic Buildings

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The Newport Restoration Foundation and the City of Newport are seeking qualified consultants or architectural firms to develop graphics for the City’s Design Guidelines for Elevating Historic Buildings. Specifically, the consultant will produce Appendix A, a set of graphics to include photos, drawings, and/or architectural renderings of appropriate design concepts. The graphics may include, but are not limited to, delineating new and original details in building adaptations, foundation design within a historic context, and streetscape scale and building patterns. The ideal consultant is a preservation or planning professional with a background in architecture, or an architectural firm with a preservation focus.

Please review the RFP here to learn more about the project, consultant selection, and timeline.


The Newport community has historically been affected by significant flooding in low-lying areas in part due to its proximity to Narragansett Bay and some neighborhoods’ development upon filled-in marsh lands. However, flooding, hurricanes, and high tides in these coastal neighborhoods are only intensifying as a result of climate change. Many of these neighborhoods are included within the Newport Historic District and represent a significant collection of 18th- and 19th-century buildings, including National Historic Landmarks.

In 2016, NRF hosted the first Keeping History Above Water™ Conference to specifically discuss climate change and building adaptation in Newport’s historic coastal neighborhoods. Case studies from the conference informed strategies for building adaptation and resiliency in historic communities threatened by sea level rise. Since then, Newport’s Historic District Commission has concluded that the best policy for long-term preservation in these neighborhoods is to support voluntarily elevating structures.

In January 2020, the Newport Historic District Commission adopted the Design Guidelines for Elevating Historic Buildings. The guidelines apply towards all contributing and non-contributing buildings within the Newport Historic District—a collection of nearly 400 properties. The guidelines include four considerations to guide commission and applicant thinking in reviewing elevation projects for historic buildings:

Streetscapes and Context Consideration
Site Design Consideration
Foundation Design Consideration
Architecture and Preservation

The guidelines also include a definition section and three appendices:

Appendix A: Graphical Support to Building Elevation Design Concepts
Appendix B: Additional Flood Mitigation Options for the Homeowner
Appendix C: Landscape Best-Practices and Recommendations Related to Flood Mitigation and Building Elevation

When the guidelines were adopted, the Commission intended for the creation of appendices at a later date. Both NRF and the City felt graphic support for Appendix A was critical for applicants and commissioners to visualize proposed adaptations alongside the written guidelines. Visualizations will be an important tool for historic homeowners in Newport as well as serve as a model for other historic communities looking to articulate adaptation strategies.


The deadline for submission of proposals is August 19 by 5 p.m. A mandatory pre-proposal conference will be held for all interested applicants on August 5 at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Proposals must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document.

All questions may be directed to