Renfrew Park: Summer Sanctuary for Elite Families

8 Renfrew Park, Middletown | Listed by Matt Hadfield

Renfrew Park: Summer season Sanctuary for Elite Family members

Positioned on 6 acres of land just east of Easton’s Beach front, Renfrew Park stands out as just one of the earliest and most fashionable summer months cottage colonies in Middletown, Rhode Island. The Victorian-model seaside cottage at 8 Renfrew Park is a outstanding piece of architectural record intertwined with the story of Middletown’s evolution into a summertime vacation spot. Distinguished New England family members, which include the Braytons, Bowens, and Shove households were amid the occupants of these cottages. In 1903, Cottage No. 6 was rented to F. A. Dunbar, a very well-identified sculptor from Toronto. Truman Beckwith of Providence spent several summers at this summer season colony, savoring stunning vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. Renfrew Park citizens ended up in excellent business. 

Architectural Legacy

  1. Langford Warren, a distinguished Boston architect and the to start with Dean of Architecture at Harvard University, was commissioned by a Boston syndicate to style and design the cottages. With a portfolio that included noteworthy jobs these as Shorby Hills in Jamestown, RI, and Beverly Farms, situated just north of Boston, Warren brought his exclusive vision to Renfrew Park. Apparently, the architectural design of Renfrew Park&#8217s residences bore a placing resemblance to these identified in Beverly Farms, a relationship that would afterwards resonate throughout the country when Beverly Hills, CA took its identify from Warren’s task in Massachusetts.

Reducing-Edge Cottages

The cottages with the land and improvements, such as household furniture and garages, expense $135,000 &#8211 the equal of about $4.5 million right now. Each individual cottage had an electric lighting method at a time when most Us residents however lit their properties with gas lights. The cottages have been promoted as staying &#8220delightfully located by the sea, handsomely furnished, and fitted with just about every modern-day enhancement, [and] situated at the east conclusion of the celebrated beach front where by there is a non-public bathtub property for just about every cottage.” 

Each individual cottage arrived fully furnished with exquisite furnishings and artwork, as properly as leading-of-the-line hair mattresses. An sufficient supply of china, glassware, and the most recent kitchen utensils had been supplied for eating requirements. Tenants were being demanded to bring their have silverware, table linens, and bedding. Basements featured a toilet, laundry facilities, and storage for wooden and cold goods. On the to start with ground, features incorporated open up fireplaces, a big corridor, a parlor, a eating place, kitchen area, butler&#8217s pantry, and dish closets. 

Ample Open Room

An intriguing feature of Renfrew Park is its unusually expansive central greenspace. It seems that the original designs incorporated tennis courts and a clubhouse, even though they ended up never ever realized. It&#8217s probable the preliminary owners favored sustaining the open up space or encountered structure disagreements. Irrespective, the eco-friendly will keep on being undeveloped, providing citizens the exceptional luxury of ample open room just actions from their homes.

Historic Crossroads

An additional special component of the summertime colony is the placement of the stables and carriage dwelling. The original carriage residence produced for Renfrew Park&#8217s citizens continues to be standing on Allston Ave. All through the growth of Renfrew Park, automobiles ended up gaining attractiveness, particularly among the affluent people residing in the cottages. Nevertheless, horse-drawn carriages have been nonetheless in use. To spare Renfrew Park owners from undesirable odors, the stables and carriage house had been strategically positioned close by, just outdoors the advancement. This challenge was not distinctive to Renfrew Park it affected other planned communities of the period, like the Esplanade and the neighboring Land Belief Cottages.

Echoes of the Gilded Age

Renfrew Park arrived into existence during an fascinating time in Newport and Middletown’s historical past. The Gilded Age was in full swing, characterised by unprecedented prosperity, opulence, and cultural flourishing. Newport, by now a prestigious resort destination for The usa&#8217s elite, skilled a surge in enhancement as affluent family members sought to build grand summer retreats along its picturesque coastline. Meanwhile, Middletown, neighboring Newport, shared in the enjoyment, witnessing the establishment of new summer season colonies and the transformation of its landscape with the development of lavish estates and classy cottages, this kind of as No. 8 Renfrew Park. The era&#8217s optimism and prosperity had been palpable, with every single passing calendar year bringing new chances for development, innovation, and societal development. As the century turned, Newport and Middletown stood as vibrant hubs of luxurious and leisure, attracting distinguished figures, from industrialists to artists, who sought to indulge in the extravagance and elegance of these coastal havens.

8 Renfrew Park stands as a testomony to a bygone era of opulence and magnificence, the place the elite sought respite and luxury in the tranquil surroundings of this historic enclave. 

Showcased Listing | 8 Renfrew Park, Middletown

At present outlined for sale by Matt Hadfield.

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