Kingscote at Bellevue
The Kingscote Mansion is one of Newport’s
famous summer “cottages”. Like a number of
the opulent mansions in Newport, It is
located along Bellevue Avenue. In 1839,
George Noble Jones, who was a planter from
the South, hired architect Richard Upjohn to
design a unique home for him.
Upjohn adopted the Gothic Revival style
and he came up with a very distinctive “cottage orne” (a.k.a. ornamental
The mansion’s main features include
towers, arched windows and porch roofs
that bear similarities with the tournament
tents of the Medieval Age.
The Kingscote Mansion became one of the first luxury homes in Newport. After
its construction in the 1830s, numerous other residences were built.
|When the Civil War broke out, the owners of
Kingscote fled Newport. They never returned,
and the house was purchased by William Henry
King in 1864. King was a China Trade
merchant. He gave his nephew David the task
of overseeing the household.
David commissioned the McKin,
Mead and White designers to renovate and expand Kingscote
through the addition of a new dining room. The merging of
the architectural styles and motifs of the east and of the
west are very evident in Kingscote’s new dining room. One of
the most popular design elements in the house are the
opalescent glass bricks by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
In 1972, the last heir of the King family turned the mansion
over to the Preservation Society of Newport. It is now
considered a National Historic Landmark. The preservation
society, as with the other famous mansions in Newport,
operates Kingscote as a museum and opens it to public tours.
Also under the Preservation Society of Newport are the Isaac
Bell House, the Chateau-sur-Mer and the Chepstow.
The Isaac Bell House, along Perry Street, was designed by
the same firm commissioned by David King for the Kingscote
expansion. McKim, Mead and White built the house in 1883 for
a rich cotton broker and investor names Isaac Bell. The
influences of Old English and European styles mixed with the
occasional Asian elements, established the Isaac Bell House
as one of the most original works of residential
architecture in 1883.
The Chateau-sur-Mer, like Kingscote, is located along
Bellevue Avenue. The mansion is a fine example of High
Victorian architecture. Before the Vanderbilt family built
their homes in Newport, the Chateau-sur-Mer was the largest
residence in the area. The Chataeu-sur-Mer became the
catalyst of the Gilded Age Mansions that sprung in various
area of Newport. In 2006, it became a National Historic
The Chepstow is set in Narrangansett Avenue. It was designed
and built by architect George Champlin Mason in 1860 for
Edmund Schermerhorn. In 1991, the Chepstow was bought by
Emily Morris Gallatin. In 1986, the Morris family gave the
mansion to the Preservation Society of Newport.