The BankNewport branch at 10 Washington Square in Newport is currently undergoing an historic restoration project, which will revitalize the nearly 90-year-old building and integrate modern amenities, services and technology.

Founded in August 1819 as the Savings Bank of Newport, BankNewport is one of the country’s oldest community banks. The Washington Square branch is the bank’s flagship location, built from 1929 to 1930 of red brick, tall windows, and marble Corinthian columns at the front of the building, allowing it to blend seamlessly with the existing classical architecture of the area.

Sandra J. Pattie, BankNewport President & CEO, said in a press release sent on Tuesday: “It is an honor to have this beautiful piece of architecture in our portfolio. When it became necessary to replace some of the mechanicals in the branch to allow for more energy-efficient and comfortable heating and air conditioning, we evaluated the entire building, and determined it was time to give it the attention it deserves.”

Jim Farrar of Farrar Associates, Inc., is the Construction Manager Team Leader for the project. To date, the landmark property has had its mechanical and electrical updated; the HVAC system has been
replaced, including the conversion of original steam oil heat to natural gas; and as part of a green initiative, the existing sewer and storm water systems have been separated to comply with regulations that were not in place at the time of original construction. The project will also include enhanced ADA compliance, new LED lighting systems, a modernized exterior ATM experience and landscape upgrades.

Cosmetically, BankNewport is working with local artisans to restore and recreate some of the building’s original artistry including the hand-painted gold-leaf lettering on the exterior and the ornate ceiling details. The existing decorative plaster ornamentation in the lobby has been restored by Ken Wildes of Newport’s Joshua & Co., who also created molds to reproduce the original designs which will be added to other areas in the bank. Exterior masonry restoration by Bay State Restoration in Warren is ongoing,
using exact matches to the original marble and granite sourced from quarries in Canada.

“Our team has contracted with incredible area artisans who value the historic relevance of the space and the importance of maintaining its authenticity while also ushering it into the modern era,” continued Pattie. “We have proudly continued to serve our customers throughout this project and look forward to the entire community celebrating the refreshed and revitalized space this spring.”

Upon completion of the project, customers will enjoy a more personal and convenient way of banking. A new drive-up area will provide access to Personal Teller Machines (PTM), which will offer the personal touch of a real-life banker delivered electronically with the convenience of a traditional ATM, providing extended hours for banker support as well as a night depository; and the traditional teller counter, which will remain intact at the Washington Square branch, will be replaced for day-to-day use with POD stations for customer seating during transactions.