Rendering by Peter Ferber
Isaac Bell House
Location: Newport, Rhode Island
Original Architects: McKim, Mead & White
National Historic Landmark
McKim, Mead & White
The Isaac Bell House is considered to be the apogee of what later became known as the Shingle Style. The house, completed in 1883, was designed by McKim, Mead and White for Isaac Bell, Jr., who earned his fortune through his cotton brokerage firms in Georgia. This is one of the earliest houses designed by the young architectural firm and was constructed shortly after their neighboring Shingle Style masterpiece, the Newport Casino. Although the firm designed a number of Shingle Style houses after the Bell House, few are as well conceived and composed. The house was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1995.
To save the house from ruin, it was purchased in 1994 by The Preservation Society of Newport County for the purposes of making it a museum. The society retained our firm to produce a historic structure report about the house. The study was completed in July of 1995, and the firm subsequently began contract documents for the exterior restoration of the house which was completed in 1997.