Newport House Tour Set for Six Magnificent Houses of "America’s Prettiest Town"
NEWPORT, RI - Newport, Rhode Island, long known for its oceanfront mansions and social cachet, has also been called "America’s Prettiest Town."
Film Star Nicolas Cage thought so, and his former home, Gray Craig, a magnificent stone residence and gatehouse, complete with helicopter pad, will be one of the highlights of the 2012 "Neighborhoods of Newport" House Tour, benefiting St. Michael’s School.
The tour, on Sunday, April 29, offers exclusive entry to six architecturally significant private homes in Newport and Middletown, Rhode Island.
Chepstow, an architecturally important property of the Preservation Society of Newport County, is being opened for the first time for the House Tour. The former home of Alletta Morris McBean, the house features significant furniture, paintings, and decorative arts collected by generations of the Morris family, whose roots in America go back to the mid-1600s.
H.T. Lindeberg, who is nationally renowned for his country house architecture of the early1900s, designed Gray Craig. Newport’s noted 19th-century summer-house architect, George Champlin Mason, designed Chepstow and two other houses.
The 2012 Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour is sponsored by Franklin & Company Design Associates, of Newport. The event is organized by the Parents Association of St. Michael’s Country Day School as a fundraiser for the school.
The Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour has featured more than 55 of Newport’s most impressive private homes since its inception in 1995. Proceeds benefit the students of St. Michael’s Country Day School, an independent, nondenominational, coeducational school for students in Preschool-Grade 8.
Significant private residences on the tour include:
*Gray Craig: A 1926 stone manor with a steeply pitched terra cotta tile roof is set on a rise overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, and is considered one of the best examples of the country house architecture of Harrie T. Lindeberg (1879-1959), an architect who trained with McKim, Mead, and White, and maintained his own architectural practice in New York City from the 1920s-1940s. Gray Craig is noted for such architectural details as its peacock-ornamented entry piers, a grand curving staircase in a marble-floor entry, original wood floors, bookcase-lined private library, and original paneled interior doors still fitted with Lindeberg-designed bronze door hardware.
*Gatehouse at Gray Craig: Designed by H.T. Lindeberg in 1926, this small-scale version of a stone cottage functioned as the home for the gatekeeper who was charged with controlling entry to the Gray Craig manor house. It features original leaded glass windows, original wood floors, a courtyard entry, and stunning grounds with mature beech trees.
*Chepstow: This 1860-61 Italianate villa was designed by architect George Champlin Mason, Sr., and it is currently preserved as it was when last used by a member of one of America’s most historically important families. Chepstow is a property of the Preservation Society of Newport County, and is being opened exclusively in April for the one day of the Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour.
*Starboard House: Standing next door to Chepstow, Starboard House was designed in 1860 by George Champlin Mason Sr., and is a private home today. The stone villa features a dazzling entry with a black-and-white checkerboard marble floor and original curved grand stairway, both signatures of Mason’s work.
Neighborhoods of Newport House Tour
180 Rhode Island Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island
Tickets for the 2012 House Tour are $35 if purchased on or before Friday, April 27, $40 thereafter, and are available on www.newporthousetour.com
Check or cash at St. Michael’s Country Day School, 180 Rhode Island Avenue, Newport, RI 02840, 401-849-5970.
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401-849-5970 x359, for recorded information.