Ocean Lawn is sited on 6.70 acres of glorious grounds with 515 feet of frontage on the Atlantic Ocean. Legendary Boston firm Peabody & Stearns constructed the brick manor house with a Queen Anne exterior and graceful, well-proportioned rooms in 1889. Standing in the park-like greens of the private, gated compound designed by acclaimed landscape architects Innocenti & Webel, you are only minutes from downtown Newport, Rhode Island.
Betty Parke Firestone and her husband, Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., moved to Ocean Lawn in the 1950s. Betty was known as one of the best dressed women in America at the time. At Ocean Lawn, she perfected the art of living well . Windows were fitted with handmade shutters. Drapes were made by Scalamandré. Even the entry gates and lights were custom made for her in France.
On either side of the entry hall is a His and Hers Library. His is a masculine retreat in mellow oak with herringbone floors. Hers is an elegant enclave of eighteenth century English pine. Facing the ocean are the formal Ocean Salon and Dining Room, plus a spacious Sunroom for more casual entertaining. A luxurious Owner’s Suite, plus six other Master Bedrooms with private baths, can be reached via a gracious six-foot-wide staircase. The staircase is asymmetrical, typical of the Queen Anne/Aesthetic Movement plan, with chamfered wood detail and a Waterford chandelier overhead. The entry hall features acanthus leaves, which are a symbol of enduring life. The acanthus scroll has gilding (period) executed in cast plaster. The side paneling in the entry hall is made of white oak.
Outdoors, extending from the awning-covered terrace, are acres of lawn. Spectacular views of the ocean abound.
The property also features a playhouse and pool. Entrances to the compound via three major avenues allow for easy access to the many sporting, cultural and social pleasures of Newport.
Location: Cliff Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island. Miles of scenic coastline and a deep natural harbor have attracted seekers of a quality lifestyle to Newport since the beginning of American history. A major seaport in colonial times, the “Queen of Resorts” in the nineteenth century, and New England’s premiere summer playground as well as a thriving year-round community today, Newport has much to offer. World-class yachting. Outstanding tennis, golf and polo. Music and art festivals. A treasure trove of historic houses. A selection of fine private schools. A variety of restaurants and private clubs, including the New York Yacht Club. Convenient to major cities: 32 miles from Providence, 70 miles from Boston, three and a half hours by car from New York City. Available travel facilities: Quonset State Airport, Newport State Airport, T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Amtrak train service in Kingston, and major highways.
Residence: Circa 1889 stately brick cottage in the Queen Anne style. Originally built for the Gammell family of Providence. Completely updated when sold to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey S. Firestone, Jr.
Exterior: Limestone trim & slender, unglazed Roman bricks. Bargeboards on gables are related to similar trim at Rough Point dormers and Vinland (Peabody & Stearns design). Also found on Peabody & Stearns’ original Breakers. Balustrades & crenellation. Copper leader head with fleur de lys brackets is an original detail that matches the Gothic-themed crenellation.
First Floor: 16′ x 34′ Entry Hall with humidity-controlled coat closets. 25’6″ x 17 ‘6″ oak-panelled Library (His) with Valencian tile surround on the Fireplace. The shelves feature blue satin ground lining, which Mrs. Firestone liked as a backdrop for her silver and white porcelain items. 18′ x 32′ antique English Georgian pine panelled Library (Hers) with Mahogany doors, built-in shelves and cabinets and hand-carved Fireplace mantel with Apollo mask. 18′ x 35′ Ocean Salon in Mrs. Firestone’s shades of blue & pink with early 20th century Louis XV style paneling and turn-of-the-century marble mantel. 18′ x 24′ Dining Room with Adam style marble mantel, Gracie wallpaper and Baguès Paris rock crystal wall sconces. 15′ x 32′ Sunroom. All with built-in wood shutters and 11′ ceilings. The 14′ x 23′ Pantry with an annunciator and tablecloth rollers across the hall leads to an 18′ x 20’ Kitchen with a small sitting area beyond. The pass-through is turn-of-the-century, with a Yale hardware door knob. There is a Powder Room off the Stairhall with a ’50s Murano chandelier. A three-car garage adjoins the Kitchen Wing.
Second Floor: The Master Bedroom Suite consists of an 18′ x 25′ Bedroom and an 18′ x 21 ‘6″ Bedroom, each with Fireplace and Bath and generous closets. Three other large family or guest Bedrooms, each with a bath, open off the spacious hall. One has a rouge royal marble fireplace from the Pyrenees, and another features an original Peabody & Stearns mantel with red quarry tile on the ground. There is also a linen storage area, featuring an old tongue & groove, thin drawers used for scarves & linens, and a nice period knob for circuit breakers, plus a staff/guest wing consisting of three bedrooms and one bath.
Third Floor: Two large Bedrooms, each with Fireplace and Bath, linked by a smaller Bedroom, plus an 18′ x 19′ Bedroom with Bath and a Peabody & Stearns mantel, and call buttons in ivory with brass surround throughout. Staff/guest wing comprises two Bedrooms and a Bath, Humidity-controlled Linen Closet, Large Clothes Storage Closet (the Ballgown Room), Luggage Closet, Ironing Room with porthole windows from Harvey Firestone, Jr.’s yacht, and Bath.
Basement: Wine Cellar, Laundry, Workroom, Lavatory, extra water storage and water pressure booster tanks. Gas-fired hot water system. Gas-fired heating system.
The property also features a playhouse complete with kitchen and bath and an ocean-facing pool.
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Location: 51 Cliff Av, Newport, Rhode Island
Bathrooms: 10 full / 1 half
Interior Living Space (approx. sf): 16,237
Listed For: $15,000,000