James L. Hazard House // c.1855

This beautiful Victorian-era home in Newport was built c.1855 for James Lawrence Hazard, a furniture maker. He did well for himself, selling hand-crafted furniture to summer residents who needed to fill their Newport cottages with fine furnishings. By 1873, he hired local architect Dudley Newton to enlarge and modernize his outdated home. Newton added the wrap-around porch and installed one of his patented roofs. Newton’s roof design, which he called “a new and useful Improved Curb-Roof,” featured a distinctive break where the roof met the building, allowing for better water run-off and creating a fascia that, if ornamented, would provide “a second or additional complete line of finish above and independent of the cornice proper.” The home has long held a stately presence on the iconic Kay Street until the late 20th century when deferred maintenance saw the removal of the wrap-around porch and the covering of other details. In 2012, a fire broke out on the third floor and the interior – which had been carved into six apartments by that time – suffered extensive fire and water damage. Preservationists and residents feared the house would be razed, but fortunately, John Shea of Hammond Residential Real Estate saw an opportunity. He purchased the property in 2013, commissioned the Newport Historical Society to produce a report on its history, and, with plans by Neville Architecture, completed an extensive rehabilitation. The house was fully restored and looks like it did nearly 150 years ago!

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