vernon house newport, rhode island
Originally built in 1710 and renovated in 1759, the William Vernon House is one of the few remaining grand merchant houses in Newport, Rhode Island. Situated in the heart of the colonial city, the property has hosted many distinguished guests over its 300-year history, including General George Washington and French commander Comt de Rochambeau, the latter of which made the house his headquarters in 1780. It was the property’s profound connection to the Revolutionary War, as well as its superior Georgian detailing, that secured its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1968. The building’s last owner, Margaretta M. Clulow, donated the house to the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) in 2009 with express wish that the house continue to be preserved and accessible to scholars.
Our team became involved with the Vernon House in 2020 when we were asked to produce a Historic Structures Report (HSR) for the property, comprised of existing conditions assessment, as well as documentation of the evolution and occupation of the building over time. Additionally, we were asked to consider the future of the Vernon House and furnish recommendations that would help to not only preserve the physical fabric of the building for generations to come. With the HSR completed, our team continues to serve the NRF as the first phase of work is planned – stabilizing the structure so as to allow access for community organizations throughout Newport.