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Newport News

Thursday, August 10, 2017
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by Charlie Burns and AVENUE’s Editors


photographed by Jason Evans


produced by Sam Bolton


A romantic, colonial New England seaport. A contemporary sailor’s haven. An open-air Gilded Age theme park. A thriving city that remains an enclave of wealth. Home to both a U.S. Navy base and folk, jazz and classical music festivals. And of course, a beach town. The summer playground of Newport, Rhode Island, has long defied labels.


But even as it has evolved beyond its historic role as America’s queen of resorts, embraced a more cosmopolitan outlook and adopted this century’s entrepreneurial energy and unfettered imagination, it remains a bastion of tradition and stability, a place where family and standards still count and continuity and tradition abide.


This spring, as the 2017 season was gearing up, AVENUE visited fifteen members of Newport’s newest generation and photographed them in their homes. Some were drawn there by long-established families, others by their sense that this city-by-the-sea remains a place where ambitious dreams—both in business and life—can be achieved.


Newport today is as vibrant as ever.



Parke and William Leatherman are the great-grandsons of Harvey S. Firestone, Jr. Their mother, Elizabeth, a Newport philanthropist, inspired their interest in Newport history. Parke works in real estate development in New York, while Will is pursuing a career in art direction in Los Angeles. They were photographed at Windover, their parents’ home.


 



Catherine Lyman Delano, known as Nina to her friends, is a geologist and painter. Although she lives in Texas and grew up in Greenwich, Nina has deep family ties to Newport. Her grandmother, Virginia Middleton French, known as “V,” was a fifth generation Newporter and a glamorous figure in the interwar years. She posed in the Redwood Library and Athenæum’s exhibit, “Redefining Newport Style: The Interwar Years, 1920–1940”, on view through October 30.


 



Piper Quinn grew up in Washington D.C., and spent summers in Newport. He now lives with his wife, Sara and their daughter in Palm Beach, where he owns three restaurants, Bucaan, Imoto, and Grato, but still finds time to retreat to Newport in the summer. He was photographed at Elm Lodge, his family’s Newport home.


 



Andrea Spencer Ahern was photographed at her family’s Newport home, Chastellux, built by her great- great- grandfather, Lorillard Spencer in 1891. Her grandfather, the late Stephen L. Spencer, founded London Town Cars of New York. Andrea lives in New York where she works and does public relations for beauty and lifestyle brands.


 



Nick Mele, grandson of legendary Washington, D.C., and Newport grande dame Oatsie Charles, is a commercial lifestyle and interior design photographer. Both Nick and his wife, Molly, grew up in Washington and Newport, where they were photographed at their family’s Land’s End, once home to Edith Wharton. They run an Instagram lifestyle blog, @a.social.life., and spend winters in Palm Beach.


 



Meredith Wood-Prince grew up in New York before moving to Atlanta, where she worked in estate jewelry and met her husband, Patrick Wood-Prince, of Newport and Chicago. She launched the Scout Guide in the windy city before selling the franchise in 2016.  She and Patrick now focus on philanthropy and spend summers with their three children in Newport, where she was photographed at their home, Beechlawn.


 



Camilla Bradley started coming to Newport as a guest of her godfather, Yusha Auchincloss, at Hammersmith Farm. While in college she formed her fashion line, CK Bradley, which began with summer dresses and has grown into a lifestyle brand and blog. She was photographed at her house, Birdsong.


 



Brooke Blake was photographed at Indian Spring, the summer home of her late grandmother, Betty Blake, noted collector of contemporary art. Brooke grew up between Dallas and Newport and is a graduate of Boston University, where she majored in film and television. She lives in New York.


 



Sisters Annie and Ryan Warren have Newport in their blood. Their great-grandmother, Katherine Warren, founded the Preservation Society of Newport. On their father’s side is Whitney Warren, a Vanderbilt cousin whose Warren and Wetmore architecture firm designed Grand Central Terminal. Both girls are graduates of St. George’s School. Annie studied business and economics at the University of Richmond, and Ryan graduated from Brown and earned a master’s degree in clinical nutrition at NYU. They live in New York and spend weekends in Newport, where they were photographed at their family home, Sandhurst.


 



Patrick Dolat, a New England native, came to Rhode Island to study architecture. After spending five years working in the Boston design industry, he returned to Newport, where he now owns the design store Newport Lamp & Shade Company, specializing in antiques and decorations. Patrick, who was photographed in his shop, lives in Newport full-time.


 



Kate Brierley, founder of the couture and ready-to-wear fashion line Isoude, which has a small jewel box atelier in Newport where she was photographed. Kate studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Rhode Island School of Design, and her work has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, which called it “incredibly chic.” She lives with her husband in New York and Newport.


 



Joanna Baker De Neufville grew up in New York and summered in nearby Jamestown, where her ancestors built the iconic shingled landmark Horsehead Marbella, which sits on a private peninsula overlooking Narragansett Bay and the entrance to Newport Harbor. Joanna received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and has launched several businesses, including Tamara Mellon Brands in New York. She is currently a vice president at Interland Capital, L.P., a real estate investment and development company. She was photographed at another shingle-style house, Seabeach, designed in 1900 by architect Ogden Codman, Jr., which she and her husband, Peter, are restoring.


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