Audrain Building, Newport Rhode Island

Date added: July 05, 2010 Categories: Rhode Island Commercial

The Audrain Building was built in 1902-1903 for Adolphe L. Audrain and was designed by the New York architect Bruce Price. The Audrain Building is particularly significant as one of the four buildings that comprise a distinguished commercial street, the east side of Bellevue Avenue beginning at Memorial Boulevard and running south. The development of the street began at the north with the building of the Travers Block at the corner in 1870-1871. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, it is an important example of his early style. The next building, and the next one in date, is the Newport Casino. The largest of the four, and historically the best known, it was not only a commercial building but also a social center for the summer colony. Built 1n 1880-1881, it is a well known example of the Shingle Style by the architects McKim, Mead, and White. It has been placed on the National Register. The third building in the group is the King Block, designed by the Boston architects Perkins and Betton and built in 1892-1893. The Audrain Building is the southern anchor of the group. The four buildings maintain a long street line and are basically related in scale and massing. They are also related in their use of richly textured surfaces which at the same time allows great variety and liveliness. Without matching, the buildings compliment each other in a particularly urbane way and form an ensemble which should be preserved.

Over-all dimensions: 110 feet by 73.5 feet; rectangular plan; 6 bays; 2 stories.

Wall construction: Street facade and window bay area of the south wall is of dark red pressed brick, with a brightly colored terra cotta trim which is very Renaissance in character. This trim is generously used around window openings, doorways, and cornice. Red common brick walls on the side and rear have limestone trim.

Floor plan: The facade, with its six bays, visually marks the dimension of each of the six shop areas. The second floor was designed with six offices in the front and five in the rear. The interiors have been remodeled for the changing commercial uses.

Audrain Building, Newport Rhode Island 1970 DETAIL OF PORTION OF CENTER FACADE FROM WEST

Audrain Building, Newport Rhode Island 1970 DETAIL OF CENTRAL ENTRANCE