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Article Title

Belair

Abstract

In late October 1849, an editorial in the Newport Daily News described houses then underway or recently completed, noting that “they are mostly being built on the hill; they are substantial, costly buildings, for this town, and add materially to its appearance.” Among these was the “beautiful” residence of a New York oil baron, Henry Allen Wright. As a prelude to construction, he had spent $3,500 for land on August 4, 1849, putting the deed in the name of his wife, Louisa. The lot was between Greenough Place and Rhode Island Avenue fronting on the stretch of the former Beach Street then called Buena Vista. At the time, the site was isolated and overlooked Easton’s Pond across fields that until recently had been the Gibbs Farm. Today, Buena Vista is the part of Old Beach Road below Greenough Place, a densely populated neighborhood with many towering trees. George Henry Norman purchased it for $25,000 on May 16, 1867. Three years later, the Normans undertook major renovations to the residence.

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