The 11th annual Doris Duke Preservation Awards will recognize three recent projects for their contributions to preserving Newport’s architectural heritage and character. The awards will be presented on Friday, September 8, 2017, at a celebration at Rough Point, the Newport home of preservationist and philanthropist Doris Duke.

The Doris Duke Preservation Awards is a collaboration of the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) and the City of Newport. The awards encourage and recognize restoration and rehabilitation projects that take particular care to preserve the intact historic character, landscape, and/or distinguishing features of buildings and sites of all types and periods. The award winners were chosen by a jury comprised of representatives from the Newport Restoration Foundation, the City of Newport, and individuals involved in historic preservation at the local and state levels.

This year, NRF will recognize the following projects:

Mailands & Westcliff Carriage House (1875), 37 Ledge Road, Newport, RI
Owned by Dr. Holly Bannister and Mr. Douglas Newhouse; recognized for rehabilitating an 1875 carriage house by preserving and restoring much of its original historic character after years of incompatible alterations. By late 2012, the building, previously a dependency of both the Mailands and Westcliff estates, was not only aesthetically altered, but was structurally imperiled by poorly executed past repairs. Recognizing the historical significance of the carriage house, and the imminent danger it was in, the new owners committed to ensuring its preservation while also giving it a new life.

Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center (1730; 1902; 1915), 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI
Owned by the Newport Historical Society; recognized for successfully integrating the old with the new. The property encompasses three separate historic buildings that reflect the development of the NHS since its founding. With a professional commitment to adaptive reuse of these historic buildings, the NHS brought new life to each of these existing buildings. Despite many challenges, NHS was able to maintain the architectural identity of the complex while accommodating a robust 21st century program of staff and visitor activities.

Sachuest Point Landscape Restoration Sachuest Point Road, Middletown, RI
Completed by the Scenic Aquidneck Coalition, a joint effort of the Aquidneck Land Trust, the Preservation Society of Newport County, Preserve Rhode Island, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, National Grid, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; recognized for addressing coastal resiliency and demonstrating the power of collaboration. This project removed a two-mile stretch of unsightly utility poles along Sachuest Point in Middletown, RI, after the road and dunes were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The project not only strengthened the infrastructure of the landscape, increasing its resiliency to coastal storms in the future, but returned this area to its original historic and scenic appearance.

Pieter N. Roos, NRF’s longtime Executive Director, will receive a special recognition acknowledging with thanks his distinguished 18-year tenure with the Newport Restoration Foundation and his extraordinary contributions to historic preservation in Newport and far beyond.

“This year’s award winners represent a broad and intriguing spectrum of historic preservation and conservation activity on Aquidneck Island,” said Wendy Nicholas, Interim Executive Director of NRF. “The winners include a private couple’s careful restoration of the Mailands & Westcliff Carriage House, a nonprofit organization’s adaptive reuse of a complex of historic structures paired with a bold new addition, and a once-in-a-lifetime restoration of a dramatic and often-painted landscape long-marred by 20th century electric poles. We invite everyone to join us at Rough Point in celebrating these accomplishments on Friday, September 8th.”

Since its inception 11 years ago, the Doris Duke Preservation Awards have raised over $550,000 to support historic preservation in Newport. Doris Duke established the Newport Restoration Foundation in 1968 with a radical idea: rescue and restore Newport’s oldest houses — which were, by-and-large, deteriorated and threatened by demolition — and lease them to resident-stewards with a corps of skilled craftsmen on staff to maintain them to top standards. Doris Duke’s vision saved endangered historic streetscapes for the enjoyment and benefit of visitors and residents of Newport. Funds raised through the Doris Duke Preservation Awards provide crucial support to NRF’s continued efforts to advance historic preservation activities through advocacy, education and additional building rehabilitation projects.

Tickets will be available for purchase on our website starting August 1. You may also purchase tickets by contacting Sarah Reusche at or calling 401-849-7300 ext. 117.