The Preservation Society of Newport County’s transformative revival of The Breakers landscape is among five Newport projects to receive this year’s Doris Duke Historic Preservation Awards.
The awards – a collaboration of the Newport Restoration Foundation and the City of Newport – recognize efforts that protect the architectural heritage and character of one of the most historically intact cities in America.
The 13-acre grounds of The Breakers historically included an important landscape designed by Ernest W. Bowditch, a key figure in the 19th-century evolution of landscape architecture. By the late 20th century, it was in need of rehabilitation.
The Breakers Landscape Revival project, begun in the spring of 2019, is guided by a master plan designed by Reed Hilderbrand landscape architects of Cambridge, Mass., and based on a Cultural Landscape Report researched and prepared by Reed Hilderbrand and Robinson & Associates of Washington, D.C. It includes a 1,500-foot-long Serpentine Path through the property, extensive and varied plantings, and the creation of new sight lines to the adjacent ocean. The construction is being executed by R.P. Marzilli & Co., based in Medway, Mass.
“We are thrilled to be among the organizations honored by this award,” said Trudy Coxe, the CEO and Executive Director of The Preservation Society of Newport County. “The rehabilitation of the Serpentine Path at The Breakers was an important milestone in our effort to revive this historic landscape. As the work continues, it is encouraging to be recognized in this way.”
The third phase of the project, focused on the area around the Children’s Cottage, will begin in September. In all, the project is expected to take about five years and an investment of several million dollars. It is funded by donors whose gifts are dedicated exclusively to The Breakers Landscape Revival.