A carefully integrated addition to the historic property of The Breakers, the Welcome Center of the Preservation Society of Newport County provides a permanent location for essential visitor services, including ticketing, exhibitions, refreshments, and restrooms for their many fabled properties. The Welcome Center serves as an accessible, state-of-the-art facility to sustain the educational mission of the organization and enable people to visit the PSNC’s properties year-round.

The historically sensitive pavilion-like design embedded within restored and reinterpreted gardens on the grounds avoids competing with The Breakers. Sightlines from the Ochre Point Gatehouse and Breakers mansion were carefully studied to avoid intruding on the historic view corridor, and the copper-clad Welcome Center utilizes the light, delicate metalwork associated with late 19th-century garden conservatories to evoke an architectural language consonant with the Newport mansions. Closely linked to site and history, the center re-establishes a significant garden path and complements the landscape with the addition of a shady, vine-covered trellis to further enrich the experience of visitors.

 

Realization

Design Drawings

 
 

Generous Comments

EJA not only created a superb design for the Welcome Center, but they were able to effectively articulate the design and the rationale for it to a myriad of stakeholders and constituents. They also quickly developed a genuine rapport with our Board of Trustees based on professional respect, competency and trust . . . with both being absolutely critical to our success.
— Terry Dickinson, Chief of Staff, PSNC

Video Walkthrough

 
 

Project Data

STATUS: Completed 2018

SIZE: 5,000 sf

COST: $5.4 million

Project Credits

OWNER: Preservation Society of Newport County

CONTRACTOR: Behan Bros.

ARCHITECT: Epstein Joslin Architects

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Reed Hilderbrand

EXHIBIT DESIGNER: EXPERIENCE DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGNER: RIPMAN LIGHTING CONSULTANTS

CIVIL: BETA GROUP

STRUCTURAL: ODEH ENGINEERS

MEP: AKF ENGINEERS

IMAGE COPYRIGHT: EJA, PSNC, Marial Maher

Honors and Awards

2018 PSNC: Laurel Award for Exceptional Contributions to Historic Preservation in the Area of Artisanship