Kingscote (mansion)

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Kingscote, Newport, RI.jpg
View of house from southeast, 2008
Kingscote (mansion) is located in Rhode Island
Kingscote (mansion)
Location Bellevue Ave. and Bowery St., Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Coordinates 41°28′53.47″N 71°18′32.62″W / 41.4815194°N 71.3090611°W / 41.4815194; -71.3090611Coordinates: 41°28′53.47″N 71°18′32.62″W / 41.4815194°N 71.3090611°W / 41.4815194; -71.3090611
Area less than one acre
Built 1839
Architect Richard Upjohn
Governing body Preservation Society of Newport County
Part of Bellevue Avenue Historic District (#72000023)
NRHP Reference # 73000058[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 17, 1973
Designated NHL June 19, 1996[2]
Designated NHLDCP December 8, 1972

Kingscote is a Gothic Revival mansion and house museum at Bowery Street and Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Designed by Richard Upjohn and built in 1839, Kingscote was one of the first summer "cottages" constructed in Newport, and is now a National Historic Landmark. It was later twice remodeled and extended, by George Champlin Mason and Stanford White. It was owned by the King family from 1863 until 1972, when it was given to the Preservation Society of Newport County.


First floor plan.

George Noble Jones, a southern plantation owner who owned the El Destino Plantation and Chemonie Plantation, constructed this Gothic Revival style summer cottage along a farm path known as Bellevue Avenue. Designed by Richard Upjohn, the house is an early example of the picturesque Gothic Revival style, with in irregular and busy roofline with many gables and chimneys, and elaborate Gothic detailing. Although built of wood, it was originally painted in beige-colored paint mixed with sand, giving it a textured appearance of sandstone.[3]

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Jones family permanently left Newport, and the house was sold in 1864 to William Henry King, an Old China Trade merchant. King's nephew David inherited the house in 1876, and embarked on a series of alterations. He hired Newport architect George Champlin Mason to build a larger dining room, and to build a new service wing, and had the interior redecorated by the New York firm of Leon Marcotte. He also introduced gas lighting to the premises.[3]

In December 1880, David King hired Stanford White of McKim, Mead and White to design a new addition to the house, including a new dining room with opalescent glass bricks purchased from Louis Comfort Tiffany, as well as new master bedrooms and a nursery. These alterations, although greatly enlarging on Upjohn's original design, retained the fundamental Gothic Revival character of the building.[3]

The King family owned the house until 1972, when the last descendant deeded it to the Preservation Society. The bequest included all of the original furnishings as of about 1880.[3] Today, Kingscote is a National Historic Landmark (NHL) and a contributing property to the Bellevue Avenue Historic District, also an NHL. The house is a rare survivor of a Gothic Revival house with original family furnishings still remaining.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Kingscote". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d "NRHP nomination for Kingscote" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  4. ^ The Preservation Society of Newport County - Online Ticket Center

External links[edit]