2009-04-23 / News

Newport House Tour comes to Jamestown

By Eileen M. Daly

A beautiful contemporary kitchen is part of a 2001 architect-designed house of stone, steel and glass house shown on Saturday's tour. Photo by Don Miller A beautiful contemporary kitchen is part of a 2001 architect-designed house of stone, steel and glass house shown on Saturday's tour. Photo by Don Miller Jamestowners looking to take advantage of this weekend's promising weather forecast do not need to look any further than their own backyard.

The Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour, sponsored by St. Michael's Country Day School, returns this Sunday following a five-year hiatus and promises to be well worth the wait. This year, in an effort to do something special to herald the tour's return, the sponsors decided to cross the bridge and hold the tour in Jamestown.

Five of Jamestown's most beautiful and "extremely private" homes will be showcased on the tour. Each home on the tour represents a different architectural style. These include: a Victorian farmhouse by the sea, a classic shingle and stone style home, a dramatic contemporary style home, a traditional village home, and an historic summer home. The selected homes each have distinctive architectural and/or historic elements that promise to provide guests with a uniquely exciting and informative experience. The following brief descriptions provide a sneakpeak view of what you can expect on Sunday:

This 1898 Shoreby Hill summer cottage is one of five homes featured on the Newport House Tour this weekend. Photo by Don Miller This 1898 Shoreby Hill summer cottage is one of five homes featured on the Newport House Tour this weekend. Photo by Don Miller Victorian Farmhouse

by the Sea

Known historically as the Jennie Lippitt House, this house was originally built as part of Conanicut Park, Jamestown's first planned summer colony. Built in a Victorian style known as Gothic Revival or Carpenter Gothic, the home retains much of the original architectural style. Exterior features include original cutout trim that adorns the dormer peaks, a square tower with four dormers and a mansard roof as well as a wrap around porch. Original interior features include wide plank pine floors, interior paneled wood doors, and interior re-use of the original French doors. The owners have combined the old house with new areas to accommodate a young family while retaining the heart of a genuine antique farmhouse. The house sits on a triangular shaped lot near the water's edge on Narragansett Bay. Stunning water views complement this beautiful showcase home.

Classic Shingle and Stone

This home, known by its owners as "North Pointe," sits in a private setting on the northern end of the island and displays all the best of New England Architecture: cedar shingles, native-stone foundation, mahogany exterior doors, painted linen-white trim, and double-hung windows. Beautiful views of Narragansett Bay may be seen from multiple vantage points including a porch with an outdoor stone fireplace, a bluestone patio and pool area, and a sunroom with southern exposure. A wall of windows in the living room provides further expansive views of the bay.

Beautifully furnished with an open floor plan this home offers generous space for living and entertaining. Interior features such as the kitchen with its 15-foot-high ceiling and bank of windows facing the water combine with outdoor delights that include a swimming pool surrounded by a bluestone patio and make this home a sure hit with tour partipants.

Dramatic Contemporary

This dazzling home overlooks Narragansett Bay and is accessed by a long winding driveway. Traditional materials were used with contemporary flair to create the bluestone façade punctuated with metal-frame windows. The architecture takes center stage in this home with its dramatic living room where double height windows emphasize a spectacular view of the bay. A wood and steel stairway leads to the second floor where the master bedroom is reached via a glass-floor bridge. Children's bedrooms and a family room can be found on the other side of the bridge. A lower-level billiards and wine tasting room adds to the comfort and ambience of the home. Combined with the tranquil views of the Bay seen from the outdoor bluestone patio it's easy to appreciate the name given this home: Aque'ne, a Wampanoag word for peace.

Traditional Village Home

This Shoreby Hill home boasts cedar-shingle siding, a varnished front door and crisp white trim that lend it a becoming New England charm. This extremely comfortable home combines intimacy and openness in a visually pleasing display. From the floral-bouquet, green and white toile wallpaper that covers the double height foyer to the living room's charming multiple seating areas this home is well suited for entertaining. The dining room is defined by square wood pillars set atop base cabinets while the kitchen features ceiling high cabinetry in a cherry walnut finish. Outdoor areas include a bluestone patio surrounded by a drylaid stone wall that also serves as a seating ledge. A potting shed with an interior painted in vibrant tropical colors provides a touch of the Caribbean along with a reminder of the brilliant colors the summer garden is sure to bring.

Historic Summer House

This 1898-1899 Colonial Revival house was built for a wealthy St. Louis industrialist at the turn of last century. With its ample wrap around porch and panoramic views of the Jamestown and Newport Harbors this home represents gracious summer living at its finest. The home retains much of its original grandeur. The exterior architecture includes such Colonial Revival era features as fanlight windows, a gambrel roof that sweeps down into a porch overhang, classical columns punctuating the deep porch, dormers with pattern glazed oval windows, and thick native-Jamestown-stone foundation and walls. The interior entry way leads to an elegant living room with original coffered ceiling, painted mantel, and original longleaf yellow pine floors. The adjoining dining room features a bow-front window facing the harbor, wood paneled wainscot and arched moldings along the fireplace wall. Several upstairs bedrooms include fireplaces with engraved metal scuttles for burning coal. Plaster walls and ceilings throughout the house are original and add character to the Colonial Revival architecture.

The Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour will be held this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased on the day of the tour at the Bay Voyage Inn, 150 Conanicus Ave. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds are used to support St. Michael's Country Day School.

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