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Pembroke Jones House (Sherwood)

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1906–1908, redesign of earlier house, Hoppin and Koen. 553 Bellevue Ave. (at Bancroft Ave.)

When Pembroke Jones, a wealthy financier and merchant from North Carolina who made his fortune in the rice market, bought a late nineteenth-century cottage owned by the Havemeyer family, he hired the firm of Hoppin and Koen to remodel it as a backdrop for the lavish summer entertaining for which the Joneses were famous. Francis Hoppin, who apprenticed with McKim, Mead and White between 1886 and 1894, had many Newport social connections, and Jones's choice of this New York firm was probably based on the success of Hoppin's first big Newport commission, the General Francis Vinton Greene House, Armsea Hall (1904), a house that once stood just south of Hammersmith Farm (see below).

Hoppin's transformation of the older dwelling employed an essentially flat, massive main block to receive ornately carved Adamesque window treatments, decorative relief rondels, and monumental colonnaded porticoes on both the east and west facades. The dominant planarity of the walls echoes an English Georgian precedent, evidently an association that the Joneses were eager to emphasize. This scheme was continued in the arcaded ballroom at the south end of the building, added about eight years later and also designed by Hoppin. Although not professionally linked to this building, another noted architect, John Russell Pope, knew it well, as he later married the Joneses' daughter, Sadie.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Pembroke Jones House (Sherwood)", [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, 572-573.

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