Levi Gale Mansion // 1835

One of my favorite houses in Newport, Rhode Island is this amazing high-style Greek Revival mansion across from the Touro Synagogue. The house was built in 1835 for Levi Gale, and designed by esteemed Rhode Island architect Russell Warren. Gale was born in New Orleans and moved to Newport and is listed as a merchant. It is possible that Levi Gale was involved in the Triangular Trade, the trading of enslaved people, sugar (often in its liquid form, molasses), and rum between West Africa, the West Indies and Rhode Island. Many do not realize, but Rhode Island was heavily involved in the slave trade. The house follows the more traditional Federal form, but with two-story composite pilasters and flush siding, scored and painted white to resemble ashlar marble. The home is elegantly sited, but it is actually not on its original lot. It was actually built adjacent to Washington Square, in the place of the present Newport County Courthouse, and was moved to its present site in 1925. The mansion was cut in half, moved a block away, and re-assembled on a new foundation. It is now used as a Jewish community center, owned by the congregation that owns Touro Synagogue.

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