Newport, Rhode Island, is one of the most historically intact cities in North America. Its rich cultural and architectural heritage gives Newport a particular national significance. This new volume is a richly-illustrated portrait of the city, charting its progress from colonial times up to the present day.
“A cavalcade of imagery sure to enthrall even the most knowledgeable history buff”—Fred Albert, Newport Life Magazine
As one of the most historically intact cities in North America, Newport, Rhode Island, has a cultural and architectural heritage of national significance. Each of the city’s districts has its own distinct character with street plans and buildings revealing the political, religious, commercial and artistic forces that have shaped Newport through the ages. Stately Colonial squares and bustling wharves, picturesque Victorian villas and scenic drives, opulent Gilded Age palaces for the few and electric streetcars for the many, and preservation movements to honour the past, and modernist schemes for a metropolis of the future all tell stories of urban beauty and controversy, of eras of lavish building, urban decay and extraordinary revival.
A thoroughly accessible, original and valuable source of reference, The Artful City will appeal to the serious scholar as well to all those looking for a highly readable illustrated history of one of America’s most important physical and cultural entities. Maps, paintings, poetry, prose and photographs document and celebrate the development and evolution of this truly artful city.
John R. Tschirch is the Newport Historical Society’s architectural historian and visiting curator of Urban History. He is the author of Gods and Girls: Tales of Art, Seduction and Obsession (2019).
Table of contents
- Introduction: The Artful City
- 1 THE OLD QUARTER
Washington Square, Thames Street, and Historic Hill
Case Study #1: Native Americans on the Land in Rhode Island and the Arrival of the English
Case Study #2: African American and Immigrant Populations in Early Newport
- 2 THE POINT
The Intersection of Romance and Reality
- 3 A CITY BOTH PICTURESQUE AND GILDED
Bellevue Avenue, Ochre Point, and Ocean Drive
- 4 VICTORIAN EXPANSION AND MODERN REINVENTION
Broadway and Points North
Case Study #3: George H. Norman and Newport’s Urban Infrastructure
- 5 ROMANTIC VIEWS
Artists, Writers, and Mythic Visions of Newport
- 6 MODERNISM MEETS HISTORIC PRESERVATION
- Conclusion: The Landmark City