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.
With profound sadness, Newport Restoration Foundation shares the news of the passing of our former Director of Preservation, Robert Foley. His passion and dedication to NRF helped shape our organization.
Prior to his time at NRF, Robert was an active member of Operation Clapboard, a Newport-based organization founded in 1963. Operation Clapboard was a grassroots project and was the first serious effort to recognize and save Newport’s eighteenth-century architectural treasures. Though the project only lasted a few years, Operation Clapboard saved 40 buildings and helped raise awareness about Newport’s historic structures.
When Doris Duke founded NRF in 1968, she hired Robert to document the restoration process of properties across Newport. From 1968 to 1974, he took thousands of pictures in one of the first concerted efforts to document existing conditions in the preservation field. Many of his photographs are still used by NRF today and are featured in Extraordinary Vision: Doris Duke and the Newport Restoration Foundation, which Robert co-authored.
During his career, Robert worked as a NRF archivist and later became Director of Preservation. He referred to the role as his “dream job.” He led the preservation crew through both daily maintenance and full-scale restorations. His involvement from the very beginning helped to perpetuate the historic trades in Newport and solidified NRF as a preservation leader.
Robert retired in 2016 after more than 50 years of preservation efforts in Newport. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Seamen’s Church Institute.