Tour Selections

Optional tours are scheduled for Friday, October 18 from 3pm through 5pm on a first-come, first-serve basis. A selection from one of the following options is included in the conference registration, and unless otherwise noted each tour is off-site from the conference. Transportation to the start and to pick-up sites be provided starting at 2:45 pm in front of Ochre Court, on Ochre Point Ave.

“Deconstructing the Built Environment of Slavery”

For two hundred years Newport was defined by its business of slavery. This tour will explore just four of the many dozens of Newport structures built with slavery in mind. We will unearth the apparitions of slave labor, merchant wharves, sales of humans, and quotidian slave life that still incarnate Newport architecture.

Featured guide: Peter Fay, Brown University and the Newport Middle Passage Project


“First-person Landscapes: Walking under the shade of giants.”

Newport’s urban forest is second-to-none in terms of diversity and history. Spread out over a sprawling canvas, the trees and gardens of Newport will come alive with abundant exuberance through this one-hour walk on the grounds of Salve Regina University.

Featured guide: John R. Tschirch, Architectural Historian and Honorary Member of the Garden Club of America


“Newport’s Queen Anne Square”

Maya Lin referenced the historic use of the property in her design for “The Meeting Room” at Queen Anne Square. This tour will discuss the design rationale and its connection to the site’s history while considering the degree to which the square serves to memorialize the past.

Featured guide: Mark Thompson, Executive Director of the Newport Restoration Foundation.


“Preservation and Loss: The Oldest District of Newport Rhode Island”

This walking tour will explore the oldest part of the town of Newport. It will visually survey a number of prominent 17th and 18th century buildings which still exist and also pay particular attention to the ways in which redevelopment destroyed an urban core of over 55 colonial era structures in this neighborhood as recently as the 1960’s. Notable structures included amongst others: The Great Friends Meeting House (1699), The Whitehorse Tavern (c. 1673), the Colony House (1739), The Wanton Lyman Allen House (c. 1690’s) and the Brick Market (1772). The start in front of the Colony House on Washington Square.

Featured guide: Dr. Ronald Onorato, Professor of Architectural History and Chair, Department of Art and Art History, University of Rhode Island, and author of The AIA Guidebook to Newport Architecture.