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Gustavus Swan House (Swanhurst)

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1851, Alexander McGregor. 443 Bellevue Ave.

In 1851 Alfred Smith, a New York tailor turned Newport developer, purchased 140 acres of land south of Dixon Street and requested that the city extend Bellevue Avenue into that area. Within a year, a dozen new summer residences were opened, mostly owned by families from the South and the Midwest. One which was Swanhurst, built for Judge Gustavus Swan of Columbus, Ohio.

Swanhurst is not in the classical revival style for which McGregor has become known but is instead informed by the cottages of the preceding decade. Deep, bracketed eaves, engaged octagonal tower, arch-topped windows, scalloped wood trim, and projecting balconies mix aspects of Gothic imagery with Italianate or Tuscan details, motifs found on the nearby Kingscote and the Edward King House, but its uniform stucco coating and broader volumes impart a severity and reserve unlike the more elaborately decorated Kingscote but similar to what was probably the original exterior of the King House.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Gustavus Swan House (Swanhurst)", [Newport, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 569-569.

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