A Fresh Take on Old Buildings

Like any good history organization, NRF spends as much time looking ahead as it does looking to the past, and each summer we welcome budding material culturists, public historians, and architecture nerds to Newport to help keep us (and our collections and programs) fresh. NRF’s longstanding Emily A. Laird graduate internship program is a cornerstone of operations and something we look forward to year after year. For ten weeks every summer, interns become full members of the museum team based at Rough Point, lending their perspective on everything from exhibition themes to important ice cream decisions, and we couldn’t do what we do without them.

Mical Tawney, our 2016 Laird Intern, spent the summer working to bring new life and updated scholarship to our vast 18th- and 19th-century architectural collection. Since the majority of these properties are part of our tenant-steward program and unavailable for touring, our website is the best way for visitors to explore and learn about Newport’s early architecture. Mical carefully reviewed the listings for NRF’s seventy-nine historic houses and refreshed each description to reflect the best research available.

Over the next year, we’ll be integrating Mical’s contributions into the Historic Houses page on the website, so keep your eye out for new photos, updated entries, and more interactive features. To learn about the Sisson Collins House – where Mical’s grandparents once lived many years ago – check out the first revised house history here.

Mical is already on her way back to the University of Virginia, where she’ll complete her MA in Architectural History next spring, and we owe her big thank-you for her terrific ideas, sunny disposition, and, most importantly, for keeping NRF thinking about what comes next!

InteIMG_0866rn Fast Facts

Hometown | Charlottesville, VA

College | Dickinson College, BAs in History and Italian

Graduate work | University of Virginia, focus on 18th and 19th century architectural history; certificate in Historic Preservation

Favorite ice cream flavor | Pistachio



Posted in Rough Point

Explore a hidden Newport, at the bend in Bellevue Avenue

landscape_tours_Blog_June_2016_web1Wouldn’t sweeping views of the ocean and secret gardens be the perfect way to rediscover your “City by the Sea?”

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Summer evenings on the lawn at Rough Point!

Shangri La, Hawaii

Shangri La, Hawaii

Back by popular demand: events on the lawn at Rough Point!

Bring friends and family to Rough Point on June 22nd for “Sights & Sounds of Shangri La,” the first in a three-part series featuring activities outside on the grounds and lots to discover inside the house, too!


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Honolulu Comes to Newport

2015-12-08 16.33.24Catch a rare glimpse into the process as we reconfigure the Rough Point gallery spaces, strip away the vinyl from last year’s exhibition, and prepare to install the 2016 exhibition: Waterscapes: Islamic Architecture & Art from Doris Duke’s Shangri La, opening to the public on April 7.

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Who is behind the 74 Bridge Street Project?

Charette_2016_0031More than 30 people gathered at Rough Point in late January for a two-day workshop on how to protect 74 Bridge Street and the surrounding Point Neighborhood in Newport, RI, from impacts of climate change, especially increased flooding from sea level rise (SLR). The results will be exhibited on site during NRF’s Keeping History Above Water conference, April 10-13, 2016.
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