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“Tour is focused on the architecture, not lots of interior decorative items”
Review of Isaac Bell House

Isaac Bell House
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US$27.64*
and up
Newport Ocean Drive Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #36 of 110 things to do in Newport
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Milford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
617 reviews
308 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 950 helpful votes
“Tour is focused on the architecture, not lots of interior decorative items”
Reviewed 23 September 2013

This visit we went to Chateau sur Mer, Chepstow, Kingscote and Isaac Bell House on the Saturday of the Newport Wine & Food Festival. The only property we have seen before was Chateau sur Mer, all the others were our first time visiting.

Reading some of the reviews, we were not surprised that some of these properties are not visited as they are not as ornate/large/well known in comparison to The Breakers and Marble House. This is such a shame as these properties were just as interesting from a historical and architecture / interior design perspective. Each home had some interesting pieces of furniture or decorative pieces, many with an interesting story attached to it.

It would be nice to be able to see these properties at your own pace, rather than have to be crowded with a group (in some of the spaces) on a guided tour.

As other reviewers indicated, there is very little decoration/furniture inside the property. Before the Preservation Society acquired the property, it was an assisted living facility. Fortunately, the beautiful woodwork was not altered. Note: We went on the 2pm tour and they only allowed a dozen people, so we saw at least 12-15 people turned away.

Visited September 2013
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4 Thank Nikko4Me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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55 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
LaSalle, Illinois
Level Contributor
121 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Great place!”
Reviewed 3 September 2013 via mobile

It is nice to see a home that is still going through the preservation process. This is a must see house in Newport.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank TheBackyardTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
329 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
“Significant Shingle Style Architecture and Wonderful Tour/Docent!”
Reviewed 30 July 2013

After a heavy day of touring three mansions, Isaac Bell House tour was a breathe of fresh air.
The House is very significant due to its American Shingle Style architecture and in my humble opinion, a more significant house to visit prior to visiting all those mansions. The house was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McKim,_Mead_%26_White) in 1883. The gentleman docent was fantastic and well versed on the property. Its unfortunate that the Isaac Bell House does not get the press or number of visitors as do the mansions in Newport. This House is a must see as well as Hunter House.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank eminker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Syracuse, New York, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Can we move in?”
Reviewed 1 July 2013

Saw both this house and The Breakers - and liked each for different reasons. I would love to live here, the house is just beautiful. The tour guide was knowledgeable and did a great job. I would have loved to see the top floor of the house, but sadly, that was not part of the tour.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Vanessa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
Level Contributor
86 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Worth every moment”
Reviewed 8 May 2013

This is better than all of the mansions put together. I fell in love with this house and its story as soon as I stepped inside. It might not look like much from outside, but the fascinating attention to detail, and the architect's love and passion for his family, shine through with every step. This isn't just a house-- it's a love letter in physical form.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank LKPNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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