Designed by the New York firm of McKim, Mead and White, with landscaping designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, the Narragansett Pier Casino in Narragansett, Rhode Island was one of the finest Gilded Age resorts in New England upon its opening in 1886. Considered to be the center of social life for summer residents in Narragansett Pier, a close second to the glamour of Newport, the Casino structure stood complete for just under 15 years. Guests of the resort enjoyed beach-going, billiards, tennis, cards, bowling, shooting, boating, and beautiful reading rooms, shops, restaurants and a theater within in the Casino. In 1900, most of the Shingle style building burned down during what is known on September 12, ending the Summer season. That day, a fire broke out in the neighboring Rockingham Hotel. The flames spread quickly to the Casino and many other significant wood-frame buildings, and leaving only the stone porte-cochere and towers standing of the original casino.
The stone structure was damaged multiple more times from hurricanes and fires, but stood proudly as a lasting reminder to Narragansett Pier’s Gilded Age past. The Towers is now the premier event space in town and a symbol for the town. Sadly, much of the area of Narragansett Pier today is dotted with surface parking and (in my opinion) uninspiring condominium/hotel developments, though there are collections of significant structures nearby that survived the fire.