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Address: Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840
Phone Number: 14018471000
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The Isaac Bell House is one of the best surviving examples of shingle...

The Isaac Bell House is one of the best surviving examples of shingle style architecture in the country. The house was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White in 1883 for Isaac Bell, a wealthy cotton broker and investor. After passing through a succession of owners, the Isaac Bell House was purchased by the Preservation Society in 1996, and is today designated a National Historic Landmark. The Isaac Bell House was remarkably innovative when it appeared in 1883. It is a combination of Old English and European architecture with colonial American and exotic details, such as a Japanese-inspired open floor plan and bamboo-style porch columns.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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So beautiful ... unless you like the gilded royalty wannabe neighbors

Called one of the most influential houses in the history of American building design, it leaves behind much of the Colonial and Federalist to bring touches of other cultures and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Lynn N
Marblehead, Massachusetts

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29 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
44 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Called one of the most influential houses in the history of American building design, it leaves behind much of the Colonial and Federalist to bring touches of other cultures and incorporates found objects into the very structure of the house. So pleasing, so imaginative, so lovely.

Thank Lynn N
Fallbrook, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This home has no furnishings in it at this time which makes it kind of "dull" unless you really can appreciate the fine interior wood working, moldings, shelving, etc. It is a fine example of the Arts and Craft décor which was just becoming popular at the time

Thank miligold1
Oberlin, Ohio
Level Contributor
137 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

This is a stick and shingle masterwork that is being lovingly restored with an eye towards interpreting the restoration process. Though it has little furnishings the guided tour explains the architects' and owners' ideas and iterations over the decades.

Thank Charles A
St. Marys, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2015

My favourite property on the Newport Mansions tour. If you are a fan of Arts & Crafts design and Japanese inspired architecture than you must see this house. A nice opportunity to compare the original house to the refurbished as the restorations are ongoing.

Thank artandwander
Level Contributor
41 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2015

My husband and I went on this tour. It was the only one we purchased during our stay in Newport because the architectural period and style grabbed our attention. The home is unfurnished, which I appreciated because we wanted to learn about the design and construction elements, not the adornments. The tour guide (Raymond) was excellent. I would highly recommend... More 

Thank AKGoil907
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
100 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2015

This place is adorable and because it contains hardly any furniture it is much easier to see the underlying architecture and bare bones of the house. You also get to see the quirky style of Stanford White in action. Great guide, very informative. Nice to see the detailed work going into restoring these beautiful old houses. Just down the road... More 

Thank qofdnz
Middletown, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
85 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015

The Isaac Bell House is small in comparison to the Newport Mansions. There were only six guests in the guided tour I attended. I actually enjoyed it more than the mansions. Most rooms are empty - so the tour focuses on the architecture which is quite unique. Because it is not opulent - it not as overwhelming as the mansions.... More 

Thank heidi F
Vonore, Tennessee
Level Contributor
638 reviews
375 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 741 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2015

This home was designed by Sanford White for the Vanderbilt attorney. It passed through some hard times, even serving as a nursing home. There are a number of interesting architectural features such as the glass around the fireplace, wood shutters that retract, decorative spools on the decking, etc. Some of the rooms not furnished, so you pay attention to these... More 

Thank Torte_Sue
Kensington, MD
Level Contributor
177 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2015

If you are a fan of American architecture you probably already know about the Isaac Bell House, and if you are not once you see this house you'll be a fan. This house has many classic elements that define American design - even though most elements are based on other countries (Japan and France) with a distinctly American twist. Designed... More 

Thank Beverly F
Warminster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
76 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2015

The Bell house is a tour devoted to the architecture of the time period and the explanation and first hand look at the restoration of the house. The greeter tells everyone up front what to expect so no one should be complaining about no furniture in the house. It's not the gaudy over the top Breakers or Elms. The guide... More 

Thank TonyJ85

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