Arts and Crafts Architecture
Picture Tour

Isaac Bell House (page 1 of 2)

Front view of one of the best surviving examples of the Shingle Style in America. Photo by Howard J. Partridge.

East (Front) Elevation from Street
Isaac Bell House in Newport, Rhode Island

The prestigious New York firm of McKim, Mead, and White designed this Shingle Style masterpiece, built from 1881 to 1883.  Two of the young partners, Charles Follen McKim and Stanford White, had previously worked under H. H. Richardson, the architect who had pioneered the style in his William Watts Sherman house not far away.  McKim, Mead, and White's design marks a giant leap forward in the evolution of the style with its greatly simplified treatment of building trim and exterior surfaces.  Earlier shingle style homes typically display a much fussier Queen Anne kind of treatment of details and forms.  This house exhibits an emerging preference for Colonial Revival detailing and restraint.  The Queen Anne influence is still visible, but it is at a more abstract level, suggesting itself mainly through the building's overall forms and massing.  The house is among the best examples of the Shingle Style still in existence.  After being split up into apartments and later serving as a nursing home, the house is currently the property of the Newport Preservation Society.  Restoration work is now underway.  It is open to the public for tours as a work in progress.  Photograph taken in 1994 by Howard J. Partridge.
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