Newport Restoration Foundation
51 Touro Street
Newport, RI 02840
In Newport, Rhode Island, Doris Duke was a lifelong preservationist and devoted much of her fortune to restoring colonial buildings in the city where she spent her summers. She founded the Newport Restoration Foundation in 1968 with the purpose of preserving Newport's18th- and 19th-century architectural heritage. Her extraordinary vision resulted in an almost single-handed rescue of Newport's early architectural heritage. Newport thrives today in large part due to its many unique historic streetscapes.
Since its founding, the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) has restored or preserved 83 buildings. Today, the NRF continues to own a collection of 78 historic buildings, including 73 homes that are rented as private residences and maintained by a full-time crew of carpenters and painters. This is one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by a single organization anywhere in the country. More importantly, the majority of these structures are being lived in and used as they have for more than three centuries, making them a vibrant part of the community.
The work of more than 100 architects and skilled craftsmen over a period of 16 years ultimately saved 83 structures in and around Newport. These houses, most of which are still owned and meticulously maintained by the NRF, represent a remarkable collection of early Rhode Island architecture and are privately rented.
Visitors to Newport can see the results of this massive undertaking simply by walking the streets of one of the last wooden cities in America. Our houses are easily recognizable - just look for the NRF sign or print a self-guided tour map of the Historic Hill or the Point neighborhoods. To learn more about the buildings and their historical context, take a guided walking tour.
The NRF also owns and operates three museum properties:
Step into the life of heiress and art collector Doris Duke at her oceanfront Newport mansion. Immerse yourself in the fine art, furnishings and antiques she spent a lifetime collecting. Tour one of her favorite homes still decorated as she left it for you to enjoy.
Admire 429 shapely legs of 18th century Newport furniture on display in a fully furnished Federal-style mansion along Newport’s waterfront. Study priceless antiques made by craftsmen from the Townsend and Goddard workshops and known as some of the leading furniture makers in the country.
Glimpse early New England and feel history come alive in this charming country setting. Visit the historic 1812 windmill, experience Revolutionary War history at the guardhouse, tour the kitchen and herb gardens, and feed the ducks and geese at the pond.
The NRF continues to be actively engaged in educational efforts, scholarly research and historic preservation.
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