House Lust: A Swiss Chalet in Newport’s Historic Hill is on the Market

Woodbine Cottage was built by Newport's top Gilded Age architect.

George Champlin Mason was a big deal — and well before he became the would-be architect of Newport’s Gilded Age. The Renaissance man, a Newport-bred descendant of Oliver Hazard Perry, spent early adulthood traveling Europe to study landscape painting, then returned to the City by the Sea to helm the Newport Mercury. There, he called for the establishment of a Newport Historical Society and wrote about regional architecture.

Before long, he left the newspaper business for good to become a professional architect. He went on to design some of Newport’s most indulgent pre- and early-Gilded Age structures including Chepstow, now owned by the Newport Preservation Society, and the Eisenhower House at Fort Adams. And the one he built for himself, the circa 1873 Woodbine Cottage, is no less opulent.

For years, the house has operated as tony Architect’s Inn, where visitors can get a taste of the Gilded Age from the comfort — read: central air conditioning — of the twenty-first century. Now, though, the owners are moving on and the historic home is on the market with Kylie McCollough of Mott and Chace Sotheby’s International Realty.

Architecture buffs, here’s your House Lust:

For more information on Woodbine Cottage, contact Mott and Chace Sotheby’s Kylie McCollough at 401-864-8830 or visit



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