Historic Buildings

In the blocks and neighborhoods immediately surrounding the Harborside Inn, there are numerous historic sites including:


St. Mary's Church (two blocks from the Harborside)

Just uphill from the Harborside is the church where John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in 1953.  


International Tennis Hall of Fame (three blocks from the Harborside)   

The Newport Casino, designed in the 1880s by renowned architects Charles McKim and Stanford White, became home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in 1954.  The museum chronicles the history of the sport and has an extensive, engaging collection of tennis-related memorabilia, art and fashion. The tennis facility features 13 grass courts and hosts the only grass-court professional tournament in North America.  Each year, in the closing days of the tournament (typically July, just after Wimbledon), new inductees are welcomed into the Tennis Hall of Fame.  Grass courts may be reserved by visitors for private play.


Kingscote (three blocks from the Harborside) 

One of the smallest of the famed "Newport mansions" is Kingscote. This is a particularly fascinating place to visit because its furnishings have remained intact, by request, since the day the property was donated to the Newport Preservation Society.  Designed in the Gothic Revival Style by Richard Upjohn, the "cottage orné" is both fanciful and romantic , with towers, arches and windows inspired by medieval tournament tents.   Many visitors to Kingscote also view Isaac Bell House, several blocks farther down Bellevue Avenue.  The closest-to-town of the major "mansions" is The Elms, approximately 3/4 mile from the Harborside Inn.  


Trinity Church (three blocks from the Harborside) 

Built in 1725-26 by Richard Munday, Trinity was based upon designs by Sir Christopher Wren and is very similar to the Old North Church in Boston.  Home to Newport's earliest Episcopal parish, founded in 1698, the church's interior is remarkable for its box pews and wineglass pulpit.  The all-wood, white-spired Trinity, located atop the gently sloping hill of Queen Anne Square, is a central landmark in Newport and has been featured in major movies including Amistad, Evening and Moonrise Kingdom.  


Newport Art Museum (five blocks from the Harborside) 

This classic American "stick-style" home on Bellevue Avenue is a work of art in itself.  The Art Association of Newport opened the house — Griswold House, originally built in 1864 by Richard Morris Hunt — as a gallery in 1916.  The Museum displays a significant collection of historic local and New England art;  it also offers diverse and frequently-changing exhibits featuring current artists.  During the summer, NAM hosts numerous events (such as the ever-popular "Wet Paint" each August), and a series of concerts takes place on the lawn.  


Redwood Library & Athenaeum  (five blocks from the Harborside)

The oldest lending library in America, this beautiful Palladian-inspired building on Bellevue Avenue was the first in that style to be built in the New World. Founded in 1747 by Abraham Redwood and group of friends, it opened in 1750. The design is based on a Roman Doric temple and is said to have influenced Thomas Jefferson. The library was used as an officers club by the British during the Revolutionary War. A membership library and museum open to public, the Redwood has welcomed many prominent members including authors Edith Wharton, Henry James, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Julia Ward Howe, and painter Gilbert Stuart.  


Colony House (six blocks from the Harborside) 

Built between 1736 and 1739, this handsome brick building with balcony and roof-top balustrades is the fourth oldest statehouse still standing in the United States. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud to citizens from the front steps in July 1776.  That tradition is repeated each year during Newport's Fourth of July celebrations, when a reading of the entire Declaration is enjoyed by locals and visitors from around the country and world.  The Colony House served as the statehouse for Rhode Island and Providence Plantations until 1901, when the newer white-domed statehouse in Providence opened.


Seamen's Church Institute (two blocks from the Harborside) 

At the corner of America's Cup Avenue and Market Street, the Seamen's Church Institute provides housing and services to sailors, fishermen and others in the marine trades.  The public is welcome to visit the historic brick wharf building, view the diversity of marine art, and enjoy a quiet moment at the frescoed Chapel of the Sea.  


Newport Artillery Company (five blocks from the Harborside)

This stone armory, built in 1838, contains a diverse collection of military uniforms and weapons including four bronze cannons cast by Paul Revere in the 1790s.  The cannons are rolled out to perform salutes in nearby Washington Square on special occasions such as the Fourth of July. 


Touro Synagogue (six blocks from the Harborside) 

The oldest synagogue in America, located at the corner of Spring and Touro streets, was named for Isaac Touro of Amsterdam. The building was completed in 1762 with the support of Spanish and Portuguese Jews from Amsterdam and London who had migrated to the Caribbean then settled in Newport around1677.  Designated a national historic site in 1946, the synagogue remains an active house of worship. Of note, a letter from George Washington to the congregants of Touro Synagogue is reproduced in bronze in the synagogue's garden, Patriot Park, for all to read and appreciate.