Monthly Archives: June 2014

Newport Casino: Architectural and Tennis Monument

Newport Casino: Architectural and Tennis Monument

One of the most widely recognizable buildings in Newport is the Newport Casino. This complex of buildings located on Bellevue Avenue was commissioned in 1879 by James Gordon Bennett, who owned an estate across the street on the site where the Bellevue Garden complex now stands. He reportedly founded the club after being ejected from the Newport Reading Room (an exclusive Newport Club) by fellow members of after encouraging his polo instructor to ride into the clubhouse on a bet. When the fellow members took exception he set out to create a different sort of club where he could “have a bit of fun.” The entire complex was built in an extraordinary short six-month period and in 1880, just three days after the opening, the Newport Daily News trumpeted, “It is doubtful if a more lively place can be found!” More

Washington Square: Birthplace of Newport

Washington Square: Birthplace of Newport

Newport has been many things over its lifetime: a Gilded Age resort, a post World War II Navy town, and today, an important destination for historic tourism. But at one time Newport was an early colonial settlement that was made prosperous by its excellent harbor and access to shipping and trade. At the heart of this colonial community were Long Wharf, which represented the mercantile spine of the city, and Washington Square, which was the community’s civic hub.  Some of America’s most important Colonial-era buildings still exist around Washington Square. These include Richard Munday’s Colony House (1739), which served as the part-time home of the Rhode Island legislature until the beginning of the 20th century, and Peter Harrison’s Brick Market (1772), which was the place that traders and seamen brought their goods to be sold and traded. More