Newport: 375 Years of Great Architecture

As Portsmouth ends the celebration of its founding 375 years ago, Newport’s celebration of the same birthday is just beginning. There are very few communities in America that have been around longer than Newport and none that are better preserved from an architectural standpoint. Since its founding in 1639, Newport has gone through an amazing number of phases: from early colonial settlement to major port to war-ravaged wasteland to Victorian Era watering hole for the wealthy to naval station to it its complex present day configuration. At each step in this evolution, Newport’s transformation has been marked by strategic additions to its architectural fabric and the city remains one of the most remarkable intact collections of historic buildings anywhere in the United States. Since the time of the American revolution to the present day the city has neither grown so quickly nor grown so poor that the old structures were lost and our town could easily be called the “America’s Last Wooden City” as so many of our structures are still the old balloon frame structures of more than a hundred years ago, which is a form of construction abandoned elsewhere for stone, brick, concrete and steel.  More