Cotton House // c.1720

One of the oldest houses in Newport, the Charles Cotton House stands on Church Street, and has a similar story to its neighbor, the Langley House (featured previously). The home was built around 1720 and is named for Dr. Charles Cotton who owned it in the early nineteenth century. Cotton was born in Plymouth, MA, and was a direct-descendant of ministers John and Josiah and worked as a surgeon aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. From Newport Restoration Foundation: “The original structure was probably a small, single-chimney house of one-and-a-half or perhaps two stories. The house as seen today was obviously enlarged in the Georgian style in the mid-eighteenth century and received further improvements in the early nineteenth century.” The likelihood of the building’s incremental growth is evident from the two chimneys are not of the same size above the roofline, nor are they in line with each other. Had the house been built new in the later Georgian style, elements on the exterior probably would have been more symmetrical and balanced. This building, like the Langley House was moved by Newport Restoration in the 1970s to save it from the wrecking-ball. In its original place, a parking lot.

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