The building that inspired a conference


74 Bridge Street experiences regular flooding in The Point Neighborhood, Newport, Rhode Island | Image courtesy Frank Amaral, NRF

Located at 74 Bridge Street in the historic waterfront Point neighborhood of Newport, the Christopher Townsend House (left) served as a ‘case-study in resiliency’ for historic homes.

This property, the newest addition to NRF’s collection of 18th and 19th structures, sits at the lowest point in the neighborhood and has a history of flooding. In recent years, Hurricaine Sandy, storm water runoff, and high tides have all caused significant flooding of the basement and first floor. NRF decided to use this property as a case study project to experiment with the best strategies for mitigation and resiliency.

A team of consulting architects, engineers, landscape architects, city planners, academics, and community members contributed to the project in a two-day design charrette held in Newport in January 2016. The development of the case study has been a collaborative effort between NRF, BCA New England, Union Studio, and Mohamad Farzan, RIBA, AIA.


The conference that inspired an exhibit

Exhibit PDF

Image Courtesy Caroline Goddard, of HopeStateStyle.com

The exhibit located at 74 Bridge St.took place during the Keeping History Above Water Conference | Image Courtesy Caroline Goddard, of HopeStateStyle.com

The results of the design charrette were distilled into an exhibit of resiliency strategies, each of which explored a different level of intervention for mitigating the impact of more frequent and more severe flooding.

The exhibit was open during the four day Keeping History Above Water conference, and included supplementary public programming, workshops, and interactive components.The exhibit has since traveled to the Peerless Building in Providence and Roger Williams University’s School of Architecture and Historic Preservation.

Read more about the 74 Bridge Street Project, “A Model Approach to Sea Level Rise is Funded.”

Support for this project is being provided by a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grant through the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service awarded by the R.I. Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission. Additional funding has been awarded by the City of Newport under their Impacts of Sea Level Change: PILOTING Toward Solutions grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.