House Lust: Three Historic Homes For Rent in Newport
Did you know: The Newport Restoration Foundation saves historic homes, then rents them to tenant-stewards.
This seems like a win-win. Live in an historic home, and without having to worry about putting on a roof or mortaring the foundation. The work’s already been done and, if something does come up, there’s an heiress-founded nonprofit to make it right. The rent you pay supports the nonprofit that, in turn, preserves more seventeenth and eighteenth-century homes in the area.
Where do we sign up?
The Newport Restoration Foundation, founded by Doris Duke, has seventy such rentals in its portfolio. According to the website, the properties are leased as unfurnished rentals to private individuals. Monthly rents range from $1,050 to $4,000 and renters are considered tenant-stewards, i.e. you live with no air conditioning and potentially high heating costs for the sake of historic preservation.
We’re in the “less air conditioning, more historic preservation” camp. If you are, too, here’s your House Lust:
KING’S ARM TAVERN
Address: 6 Cross Street, Newport
Year built: c. 1720
Details: Single-family home of 3,200 square feet with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and two half-baths
Monthly rent: $3,500 (plus background screening fee, $75, and fire alarm monitoring fee, $20)
Fun facts: The center-chimney Colonial, which stands on its original site, once served as a tannery, then changed to a coffee house/tavern “at the sign of the King’s Arms.” The NRF purchased the house, which housed apartments for years, in 1968 and restored it five years later. The current incarnation includes a parlor, library and den on the first floor, bedrooms and and office on the second floor and a third-floor bed/bath suite.
PHILLIP STEVENS HOUSE
Address: 34 Thames Street, Newport
Year built: c. 1750
Details: Single-family home of 1,700 square feet
Monthly rent: $2,300 (plus background screening fee, $75, and fire alarm monitoring fee, $20)
Availability: February 1
Fun facts: The home is original to its site, which includes a private backyard and side yard. It has hardwood floors, a finished attic and a natural stone foundation with stone basement walls.
Address: 55 Thames Street, Newport
Year built: c. 1683
Details: Two-level apartment in a two-family house with one bedroom and one bath, both on the second floor; 1,396 square feet
Monthly rent: $1,705 (plus background screening fee, $75, and fire alarm monitoring fee, $20)
Availability: February 1
Fun facts: Built by Solomon Thornton, the house was originally a one-room, one-and-a-half-story stone-ender sited in Johnston. Around 1730, the house was enlarged and, about 240 years later, it was slated for demolition by the Allendale Mutual Insurance Company, which owned the house and land. The house was donated to the NRF, disassembled and put in storage, then reconstructed on Thames Street between 1973 and 1974.
For more information on the rentals or to fill out an application, visit newportrestoration.org.