They are charming, they are quirky, they recall romantic days gone by. Newport’s carriage houses and gate houses were very relevant to another era’s lifestyle. Their presence, while sometimes overlooked or lost in the development around them, adds an important note to Newport’s neighborhoods. Stone block, weathered shingles, old brick, brownstone, white clapboard — they are made of sundry materials that most often reflect the residence on the property.
For the almost thirty years that I have lived here, I have been enchanted by these singular buildings. It occurred to me that you might be also. Many have received well loved and well studied restoration, all the while maintaining the signature of their original functions (as in the above carriage house). And some have had tasteful additions, from dormer windows to enlarging the footprint of the original building. But you’ll notice (with few exceptions) that they all sport versions of a cupola!
Carriage houses differ from gate houses in their distance from the family’s residence; given the flies and smells associated with horses, their housing was intentionally removed to a good distance (i.e. the stables of The Breakers is six blocks away). Here is a representative selection that also function as homes to many of my friends.
Gate houses were like a sentry post, the introduction to an estate where visitors were required to have the gate opened by the gate keeper (who also lived in the” modest” building).
Hope you’ve enjoyed another set of architectural elements that distinguish our beloved town.