The Robert Lawton House is interesting as one of the few large-scale Federal houses in Newport. The collapse of maritime trade in Newport following the British occupation was so complete that this house style, prevalent in Providence, is virtually nonexistent here. Catherine Warren lived here in the mid-twentieth century. A collector of modern art, she came to be interested in the preservation of the old colonial city. To garner funds for its salvation she hit upon the idea of convincing the Countess Szycheni, a descendant of the Vanderbilt family, to open The Breakers to the public (thereby incidentally recovering its substantial annual cost to the family in taxes and maintenance). It was the start of the Preservation Society of Newport County, its focus on late-nineteenth-century properties, and its gradual accumulation of houses open to the public.
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Robert Lawton House
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