Articles

New Urbanism and Newport – “New Urbanism: Not New or Urban-Only”

New Urbanism and Newport – “New Urbanism: Not New or Urban-Only”

For the last twenty years there has been a growing planning movement called “New Urbanism.” This ideology advocates, according to NewUrbanism.org, the following principles: 1) Walkability, 2) Connectivity; 3) Diversity of uses; 4) Mixed (price) housing; 7) Quality Architecture; 6) Traditional Neighborhoods; 7) Density; 8) Green Transportation; 9) Sustainability and 10) Quality of Life. More

Newport’s Irish Masons – “Irish Stonemasons Helped Build City’s Iconic Landmark”

Newport’s Irish Masons – “Irish Stonemasons Helped Build City’s Iconic Landmark”

We are now going through the first prolong economic downturn marked by mass migration from parts of the world even more economically challenged. Since the city’s founding in 1639, Newport has seen numerous cycles of boom and bust and waves of migration that matched those cycles. It is important to remember that the Declaration of Independence read so boldly from the Colony House in 1776 took decades to become reality. In the War of 1812, more than thirty years after the War for Independence, the British marched on Washington and burned the original White House. The decades after the Revolutionary War were particular hard on Newport and it was not really until well after the War of 1812 that Newport began to recover. One reason was that the defenses of the US were reconsidered and it was determined that the Coastal fortifications needed to be greatly strengthened. This was particularly true for Newport, one of the most important harbors and trading ports on the east coast. More

Preserve Rhode Island Awards – “Casino Theatre Receives Restoration Award”

Preserve Rhode Island Awards – “Casino Theatre Receives Restoration Award”

On October 21st the second annual “Rhody” Awards were presented jointly by Preserve Rhode Island and The RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission and Newport County was featured prominently—both in what projects were awarded and where the awards were presented! More

Belcourt Castle – “Richard Morris Hunt ‘Cottage’ as the Stage for Modern Dance”

Belcourt Castle – “Richard Morris Hunt ‘Cottage’ as the Stage for Modern Dance”

Newport is filled with wonderful buildings in widely differing styles, created at different times and for different purposes. Some, like the Newport Casino, are associated with summer fun. Others. like Belcourt Castle, have become equally famous for the Halloween season. More

The 2012 Architectural Symposium: Horace Trumbauer – “Triumps of Trumbauer”

The 2012 Architectural Symposium: Horace Trumbauer – “Triumps of Trumbauer”

There are many great architects who worked in Newport over its long and illustrious history. Richard Morris Hunt, Stanford White and Peter Harrison are all names that have become familiar to those that read the “Archi-Text” column regularly. A somewhat less familiar name, but an architect of national prominence who worked in Newport at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the early twentieth century is Horace Trumbauer.  His work included three of the great houses along Bellevue Avenue (The Elms, Clarendon Court and Miramar) and a major addition and renovations to a fourth mansion (Rough Point). More

“Newport: The Museum of Architecture”

“Newport: The Museum of Architecture”

 Newport might rightfully be considered the “Metropolitan Musem of American Architecture” in that it is the repository of some of the most important works by some of this country’s most important architects.  Futhermore, it has the distinction of having a good many buildings from each era of architecture – from the settlement of North America by Europeans in the seventeenth century through the art deco period of the 1920’s.  From that rich early period until the mid 1980’s the dept of the local architectural creation was notably less and yet there are still a few representational examples of many periods present if one knows where to look.

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“The Art of Architecture and Design”

“The Art of Architecture and Design”

Architecture has often in the past been considered to be the mother of all the arts in that it traditionally combined and included painting, sculpture, the decorative arts, and even metal working and glassmaking. In the creation of the design, architects employed the arts of drawing, model making and geometry. Although the practice and form of architecture has been transformed many times since the beginning of the art form thousands of years ago, much remains the same. Architects still use drawings and models to contemplate a structure before it is complete and still seek to create a sculptural expression that blends the sense of volume, color, texture and even sound into the final work of art. More

New and Old in Harmony

New and Old in Harmony

People often feel torn between the desire to preserve the architectural heritage of the past and to protect the environment of the future. Fortunately, these two goals are not really in opposition and, in fact, can be very complementary with one another. More

Fort Adams – “Fortification Mission Changes: Historic Landmark Holds Steadfast”

Fort Adams – “Fortification Mission Changes: Historic Landmark Holds Steadfast”

Unlike other forms of artistic expressions, architecture is best understood and enjoyed through use. Sometimes a work of architecture is used in very different ways over time. FortAdams is one such structure. The enormous 6 acre enclosed “parade”, once designed to hold the troops and armaments that would repel hostile forces, has now become home to a series of arts performances including the Dunkin Donuts Folk Festival (August 4-5) and JVC Jazz Festival (Aug 11-12) that attract visitors from around the country and around the world to Newport. More