The district named for the street that Newporters call Ocean Drive (even though it is officially Ocean Avenue) is unique in both its stunning coastal beauty and its development as an area of grand summer residences. Although its settlement can be traced to two huge farms of the colonial era (one of these is the Jahleel Brenton House [ NE178]), its distinctive architectural character dates from the late nineteenth century, when it was the preferred neighborhood of many famous summer visitors who enjoyed its oceanside activities and picturesque drives. They commissioned architects, many of national reputation like McKim, Mead and White, Richard Morris Hunt, Ogden Codman, and William Emerson, to design their summer cottages, on larger parcels of land and with far more connection to the natural environment than those of their contemporaries who built along the Upper Cliffs and Bellevue Avenue.
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