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Tours, Groups, Exclusive Experiences
Explore our various tour types to find what’s best for you and your group.
History of Newport and the Mansions
Founded in 1639, Newport was an important port city, a center of the slave trade, a fashionable resort and the summer home of the Gilded Age rich.
Explore the Gilded Age
The Gilded Age was a period of unprecedented change in America. Fortunes were spent on luxuries such as the lavish "summer cottages" of Newport.
Episode Deep Dive
Learn about the people, places and events depicted in Julian Fellowes' popular historical drama series.
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Become a Member
We invite you to become a member of the Preservation Society today. In addition to joining an active community of preservation supporters and advocates, members are offered unlimited access to all open houses.
Our mission is to protect, preserve, and present the best of Newport County's architectural heritage. Learn more about us and our work.
Personal Photography on the Grounds
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Commercial Filming or Photography
Museum Rentals & Weddings
Host your wedding, rehearsal dinner, corporate event, or other celebration at our historic museums.
On this page
The preservation and conservation of its historic houses and their collections is The Preservation Society of Newport County’s top priority. This work includes restoration of roofs and windows, conservation of fragile textiles, cleaning and restoration of valuable paintings and much more. At any given time, dozens of projects are underway. Some of those projects will be documented here from time to time.
In the summer of 2015, a rare, 15th century Sienese gold ground cassone (chest) original to the Vanderbilt collection at Marble House was returned to the Gothic Room after a lengthy restoration that combined the scholarly curiosity and technical expertise of now-retired Preservation Society Chief Conservator Jeff Moore.
The century-old boiler room of The Breakers, located underground beneath the front lawn, was in danger of damage from water leaks in the ceiling. The Preservation Society undertook a major project in 2014 to excavate, repair and waterproof the roof of the boiler room, which is now open for tours.
In late 2007, a five-by-seven foot section of weakened plaster fell from the 3rd floor ceiling of the main staircase at Chateau-sur-Mer and broke into thousands of fragments, narrowly missing recently-restored light fixtures, a chair and suit of armor on the landing between the second and third floors. The collapsed ceiling included an extension of the Tree of Life that is painted on the backside of the staircase—a free-hand painted lattice interlaced with foliage and the occasional bird and butterfly. The ceiling painting dates to the 1870s renovation of the house by architect Richard Morris Hunt.
The oriental-style architectural panels in the Breakfast Room are original to the construction of The Elms. They are the room’s focal point and are enhanced by the restrained Chinoiserie detailing of the room’s sideboards. The Chinoiserie was a western interpretation of Chinese design which became popular in Europe during the late 1600s.
The dining room seat furniture at Marble House has gilded-bronze structural elements and a cut velvet textile with metallic threads. The Conservation staff is in the process of stabilizing the very degraded textile.
The gates, fences and walls of Bellevue Avenue, dating from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries, represent the work of a number of prominent American architects. These enclosures made of brick, stone, wood andiron reflect a variety of construction methods, materials and historic revival styles. When taken as a whole, all of these gates, walls, and fences serve as a character-defining framework for Bellevue Avenue; they are the first elements an individual sees and encounters.
Parking is free onsite at all properties except for Hunter House and The Breakers Stable & Carriage House, where street parking is available.
Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Explore the 11 properties under the stewardship of the Preservation Society and open as historic house museums.
Partners in Preservation