The Many Faces of Newport

Newport has the most numerous surviving colonial buildings of any city in the United States.  These colonial houses are beautifully maintained and colourful.  The diverse architecture reflects its changing population and fortunes.  There are the colonial buildings of the seafarers, grand mansions of the industrial magnates, boarding houses and hotels for the non-magnate population and commercial buildings.

This charming building was built in 1872 to be the office for Dudley Newton who was one of the main architects of Newport in the 19th century.  He was famous for creating the “Newton Roof” – a decorative roof which hid a building’s gutters.

Lots of the older buildings are now charming inns.

The Artillery Company is the oldest military organisation in continuous service in the United States.  It was chartered by King George II in 1741.


Some more charming sites around Newport, including the fire house, a quintessential New England church spire and the incredibly convenient Newport trolley.

The window box above is from Decatur House which was the family home of Commodore Decatur, a renowned naval hero in post-revolutionary America.  Decatur House is now a great Mexican restaurant, El Perro Salado.  The restaurant is set amongst the jumble of rooms on the ground floor and overflows into the patio area.  I thought keeping the original small rooms with their low ceilings and fireplaces was a charming touch.  It made each eating area feel intimate and cozy in a restaurant that is actually quite big.

restaurant patio

History really comes alive in Newport walking around the old part of town.   There are lots of small decorative touches everywhere which catch your eye.  The town reminds me of Brugges in Belgium and the old reconstructed part of Warsaw in Poland.  You can really get a sense of the past because the atmosphere is so lovely.  What’s your favourite old city to visit?

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