Alfred Smith House // c.1843

Alfred Smith (1809-1886) was known as “Newport’s Millionaire Real Estate Agent”, working in the mid-late 19th century to get some of America’s most well-connected upper-class acquire properties to build their summer cottages. In his early days, he prospered by assisting prospective developers and buyers to purchase house lots on newly platted streets, including Bellevue Avenue. By the time of his marriage in 1843, he built this stunning Greek Revival mansion, equipped with stunning proportions and corner pilasters. Decades later, to “keep up with the Joneses”, he modernized the house by extending the eaves and adding brackets and the addition of a belvedere at the roof. He was instrumental in much of Newport’s later development, even bankrolling the erection of a stone bridge on Ocean Avenue, to allow carriages and subsequent developable lots to extend in the previously untouched land in south and west Newport. He suffered a stroke in 1886, and died a year later, two years after his late wife. He funded a monument to the family, hiring Augustus St. Gaudens to furnish a stunning memorial “Amor Caritas” which stands in Island Cemetery in Newport. Mr. Smith’s estate was mentioned in the New York Times and stated there was no will, and his four living children would each get upwards of $1 Million (nearly $30 Million a piece based on inflation today)!

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