Newport, Rhode Island
Photography: Warren Jagger
Built in 1912 by a railroad tycoon to be used in conjunction with his yacht (a local legend dubbed The Aloha), this heavy-timber Tudor style structure suffered the same fate as many Gilded Age edifices and fell into disrepair. Almost a century later, new owners bought the historic Brenton Cove boat house and gave it a second life. A painstaking and meticulous restoration project was undertaken that involved carefully disassembling the structure stone by stone (numbering each so they could be put back into place), and salvaging beams to be incorporated into the new design. The resulting structure is a breathtaking recreation of the original boat house. Used primarily as an entertaining space, the interiors were designed to appear like a fine old yacht. Shipshape walls painted a nautical white and trimmed with highly varnished cherry complete the aesthetic, and the newel post incorporates an original compass taken from The Aloha. Shortly after its completion, the Aloha Boathouse received the 2013 Doris Duke Preservation Award and was featured in New England Home and Fine Home Building magazines.