Historic Orchard Estate
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180 Narragansett Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
It was a typically exquisite late summer day in Newport. On the afternoon of September 29, 1871, a band played as Colonel George R. Fearing, the mayor of Newport and co-founder of the Newport Casino, his brother, and a multitude of guests gathered on the on the lawn of 180 Narragansett Avenue to celebrate the placing of a cornerstone. Everyone contributed something and in the corner of the property they buried a time capsule. This was to be one of the great early mansions of the city.
Features And Amenities
Situated on seven acres of exquisitely landscaped grounds with ocean views, the property is within easy walking distance of the historic Cliff Walk, beaches and the vibrant harbor front. It is truly connected to the heart of Newport, yet, behind its impressive iron gates lies a completely contained and totally private haven.
Inside, dentil moldings, handsome paneling, marble floors, handcrafted mahogany doors, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, and marble fireplaces are on display in the comfortably proportioned foyer, drawing room, dining room, library and den. The state-of-the-art kitchen suite maintains its original character and was featured in GE Monogram kitchen advertising. A large pantry and mud room enhance the ease of day to day living. Five bedrooms, including a large master suite, comprise the second floor, with additional guest rooms and baths on the third level. The original stable has been beautifully renovated to offer additional accommodations in the form of two apartments, as well as a conference room, one of two greenhouses on the property, and garage space. The manor house lower level spa delights with a gym, a massage room, a steam shower, a whirlpool and a heated resistance pool for year round exercise.
Outdoors, rare specimen trees share the tranquil landscape with a 150 year old Florentine-style bronze and marble fountain, a walking labyrinth, a newly resurfaced tennis court and two stunning pools – an upper terrace lap pool and Newport’s largest private swimming pool. These elements harmonize seamlessly to create an unequalled setting for summer entertaining.
Newport, Rhode Island, the doyenne of American resorts, is a living history book, rich and vibrant in its 376-year-old-heritage and renowned as a city of architectural and cultural interest in a beautiful coastal setting. It is home to the legendary “cottages” built in the 19th century by Vanderbilts, Astors, and Belmonts. Many of these properties are now museums, but a special few remain in private hands. Like the important art it houses, The Orchard is a one and only, rarely available and unique in its beauty and provenance.
Col. Fearing commissioned a French architect to deliver a set of measured drawings of a French Chateau. The drawings were based on an eighteenth-century country house on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland. The esteemed Newport architectural firm of George Champlin Mason & Son took these drawings and adapted them to create The Orchard, built of yellow Milwaukee brick and trimmed with Ohio stone. The Orchard immediately stood apart from other Newport mansions and the ground breaking event and the completion of The Orchard were commemorated in the press.
This masterful stone manor reflects timeless elegance, and its 11,000 square feet of living space has been enjoyed by numerous prominent families over the decades:
Mr. Robert Kelso Cassatt, son of Pennsylvania Railroad president Alexander J. Cassatt and nephew of the painter Mary Cassatt, owned The Orchard until 1944.
Mrs. Harvey S. Firestone owned the neighboring estate, Ocean Lawn, and in 1973 acquired The Orchard as well.
The current owners, world renowned information architect and founder of the TED Conferences, Richard Saul Wurman, and his wife, best-selling author Gloria Nagy, have owned The Orchard since 1993. Under their stewardship, The Orchard’s authentic details have been lovingly preserved while amenities were added to enhance its comfort. "Living in The Orchard for the last 22 years, has been like living in our own architectural museum. Every day, walking down those gorgeous marble steps, just fills us with joy and a Wow at having the privilege of living in such a wonderful piece of American history."
Sq Ft: 13,762
Lot Size: 6.69 acres
Built in: 1873
Property Type: Single-family
Architectural Style: Renaissance
Location Type: Coastal
Other Features & Amenities: