Armsea Hall (1901)
- Greene-Hoffman-Johnson Estate
- Architect: F.L.V. Hoppin
- Located on Ridge Road
- Demolished: 1969
A large porticoed Palladian villa dominating the lower East Passage of Narragansett Bay, Armsea Hall was New York architect Francis Laurens Vinton Hoppin's Beaux-Arts masterpiece in Newport. Designed for General Francis Vinton Greene, the villa's neoclassical central corps was flanked by two lower projecting wings with Doric colonnades. The estate, with its noted rose gardens, passed within two years to Charles Frederick Hoffman then to Mrs. Aymar Johnson, the former Miss Marian K. Hoffman. In 1945, Mrs. Hoffman sold the palatial estate for $14,000 to Mr. and Mrs. Colin D. Mawer of Brooklyn, NY.The property, which abutted the Auchincloss family's Hammersmith Farm, the childhood summer home of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, was subsequently proposed as the official summer White House in 1962. President Kennedy privately leased the estate for the summer season of 1964. His assassination precluded the rental and Armsea Hall was sold in 1965 for $150,000 for a planned resort. In 1967, the property was purchased at a mortgagee sale for $195,000 and in 1968 was sold a final time for $212,000 for a residential subdivision. The villa was demolished in 1969 and modern homes subsequently built on a portion of the site.
Villa Rosa (1901)
- E. Rollins Morse, James Ben Ali Haggin Estate
- Architect: Ogden Codman
- Located on Bellevue Avenue between Dixon Street and Narragansett Avenue
- Demolished: 1962
Built as the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. E. Rollins Morse of Boston and New York, Villa Rosa was among most successful country houses. Oriented to the south, rather than to the street, the house took maximum advantage of its long narrow setting. The gateposts led to a forecourt and then a walled inner court whose visual perspective from the street was terminated with a classical fountain set into a niche.
The niche with its trellis-decorated rear wing was actually staff quarters and the villa's neoclassical facade opened to the left onto the gravel courtyard. This plan was based on that of eighteenth-century French aristocratic townhouses and was unique in America of 1900. The exterior of the house was covered in pastel yellow stucco offset with white bas-relief panels and was crowned by a copper dome. The lawn terminated at Narragansett Avenue with a circular marble gazebo copied from Marie Antoinette's Temple of Love (1778) by Mique at Versailles.
Villa Rosa's interiors were equally impressive. A rigorous French Classicism dominated with white or white and green paneled reception rooms. The heart of the house was the green trellised circular Music Room or Ballroom, the first room in the United States to incorporate lattice design as a decorative scheme.
Subsequently occupied in 1913 by the James Ben Ali Haggin family of California, Kentucky, and New York, Villa Rosa was sold by the estate of its final occupant, Mrs. Emily Coddington Williams, on July 20, 1953 for $21,500 to E.A. McNulty, a Rhode Island contractor. Ogden Codman's masterpiece was demolished in December of 1962 and an apartment complex built on the site in 1965. Townhouse condominiums replaced the gardens in the 1970s and the gateposts, a final vestige, were cleared in 2004.
- Mrs. Robert Garrett Estate
- Architect: John Russell Pope
- Located on Narragansett Avenue at Ochre Point Avenue
- Demolished: 1963
Built as the summer villa of Mary Frick Garrett (later Mrs. H. Barton Jacobs), the widow of Robert Garrett, President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Whiteholme was the first residential commission of the celebrated architect John Russell Pope. The architect placed a new French Classical villa in front of and encasing the existing 1862 Stick Style Travers House by Richard Morris Hunt, creating, in the process an unusual L-shaped stucco over brick structure.
The urbane French interiors were sub-contracted to Allard & Sons, of Paris and New York, and the formal statuary-filled garden was noted for its compact geometry. Whiteholme was sold in 1944 for $26,000 to its final private owners,the Phillips family of Newport. Acquired by Salve Regina College, this major estate was demolished in April of 1963 for the construction of a modern student residence and dining facility.
- Storrs Wells - Astor Estate
- Architect: Horace Trumbauer
- Located on Bellevue Avenue between Victoria Avenue and Ruggles Avenue
- Demolished: 1973
A limestone-clad brick Louis XIV style chateau, Chetwode was built for Mrs.William Storrs Wells (nee Annie Raynor) of New York by the Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer. With formal landscaping by Achille Duchene of Paris and opulent interior reception rooms by Allard & Sons, decorators, of Paris and New York, Chetwode became one of the most lavish villas ever erected in Newport.
The white and gold paneled salons were in Louis XV and Louis XVI taste based on the King's private apartments at Versailles. The dining room, library,and morning room contained old master paintings set into the wall decoration. Occupied by Mrs. Wells until the 1930 season, the estate was leased to A.J. Drexel Biddle Jr., for three years, and then sold, furnished, on January 23, 1934 to John Jacob Astor III for $150,000. The estate comprised a garage-stable block, gardener's cottage, greenhouse, five acres of formal gardens, and grounds extending beyond Coggeshall Avenue to Carroll Avenue. The twenty-one year old Astor heir had just come of age and was soon to marry Miss Ellen Tuck French. Doris Duke Cromwell later sublet Chetwode for the 1937 season.
Five years after divorcing, the J. J. Astors placed the estate and contents on the auction block and it was sold in October of 1948 for $70,000 to James C.O'Donnell, a Washington investor. His daughter, Mrs. Florence O'Donnell Maher, sold the estate to the Texas-based Church of Christ for $45,000, in 1954, for use as a church and center for servicemen. In June of 1957, the Church sold Chetwode for $40,000 to Thomas Diab and John P. Curran, Boston developers, for conversion to apartments. Finally, in November of 1958, the estate was sold, again for $40,000, to Miss Phoebe Warren Andrews of New York who, as President of the Newport Art League, held exhibitions and sponsored an art school in the house. During the morning of January 29, 1972, a chimney fire spread through the three floors of the villa causing devastating damage. Much of the French paneling and several mantels are known to have been salvaged and are today dispersed between shops, restaurants, and private collections in Newport,Boston, New Jersey, and Paris. Chetwode, one of the chief glories of Newport,was razed in May of 1973. The outlying acreage along Ruggles to Carroll Avenues had become, after 1948, the setting for multiple residential subdivisions. The surviving five acres of gardens sold in August of 1976 for $96,000 for development into a six-lot subdivision and the surviving stable-garage building was converted into condominiums.
- Louis Brugiere Estate
- Architect: Edward Payson Whitman
- Locatedat the corner of Maple Avenue and Girard Avenue
- Demolished: Date unknown
Dominating the highest point of land at Coddington Point, this white-trimmed brick Neoclassical style villa was visible from all of southern Narragansett Bay. Louis Bruguiere of California incorporated the remnants of an eighteenth-century battery thought to have been erected by the Comte de Rochambeau into the formal gardens. The interior featured high-style French reception rooms in Renaissance and Louis XV taste. Castlewood was subsequently converted into an orphanage, The Mercy Home and School, and demolished by the U.S. Government for World War II public housing for workers of the Newport torpedo and naval ordinance factories.
Beacon Hill House (1910)
- Arthur Curtiss James Estate
- Architects: Howells & Stokes
- Located on Beacon Hill Road
- Demolished: 1967
Occupying the highest, rockiest hill of Newport, Beacon Hill House, named for the beacons that were once lit at its crest, was designed to blend into its natural environment in keeping with F. L. Olmsted, H. H. Richardson, and R. M. Hunt’s recommendations for the development of this sector of Newport. Built of native gray puddingstone, the exterior was relatively austere. The interiors, however,included fully paneled walnut reception rooms and the della Robbia room, done in Guastavino tiles. Mr. James was Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, heir to the Phelps-Dodge copper mining interests, and a major Western railroad investor.
His estate was the largest in Newport at one hundred and twenty-five acres, with three villas, a ‘Swiss Village’ model farm, formal gardens, and boathouse. With the death of Mr. and Mrs. James, within three weeks of each other in 1941, the estate was willed to a foundation that, in 1951, after ten years of vandalism, gifted the houses and real estate to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. One of the villas, Zeerust, was converted to a convent and novitiate, and a service building into an elementary school. The main house was seldom utilized and, in May of 1967, vandals started a fire in Beacon Hill House. Gutted, the estate was demolished in August of 1967 and seventy acres were sold for residential development.
- Arthur Curtiss James Estate
- Architects: Atterbury & Phelps
- Located on Harrison Avenue
- Demolished: 1975
Set atop a rocky outcropping at the end of a long entrance drive, Vedimar was a stucco-over-timber-frame Spanish Colonial style villa built as a guest residence for Commodore Arthur Curtiss James' adjoining estate. Following auction of its contents, Vedimar was demolished in 1975 for a planned institutional development of the site. That institution went into receivership and a private Newport preservationist removed the resultant clinic buildings and parking lots in 1999.