Epstein Joslin Architects

The New Welcome Center for The Preservation Society of Newport County

The Breakers, Newport, RI

A carefully integrated addition to the historic property of The Breakers, the Welcome Center of the Preservation Society of Newport County provides a permanent location for essential visitor services, including ticketing, exhibitions, refreshments, and restrooms for their many fabled properties. The Welcome Center serves as an accessible, state-of-the-art facility to sustain the educational mission of the organization and enable people to visit the Preservation Society’s unique properties year-round. The historically sensitive pavilion-like design embedded within restored and reinterpreted gardens on the grounds avoids competing with The Breakers, while at the same time providing a worthy setting for people to refresh themselves and reflect on their experience at the mansion. Sightlines from the Ochre Point Gatehouse and Breakers mansion were carefully studied to avoid intruding into the historic view corridor, and the copper-clad Welcome Center utilizes the light, delicate metalwork associated with late 19th century garden conservatories to evoke an architectural language consonant with the Breakers and other Newport mansions. Closely linked to site and history, the center re-establishes a significant garden path and complements the landscape with the addition of a shady, vine-covered trellis to further enrich the variety of experience available to visitors at the property.

Photograph copyright Alan Joslin, Renderings copyright Epstein Joslin Architects, Inc.

Project Completion Date

May 2018

Project Cost

$5.4 Million

Project Size

3650 square feet


The Preservation Society of Newport County

Owner's Representative

Synthesis Partnership


Behan Brothers


Epstein Joslin Architects, Inc.
Alan Joslin and Deborah Epstein, Principals-in-Charge
Arthur Pinkham, Technical Architect
Chimaobi Izeogu, Designer/Project Manager
Robert Picardy, Designer
Diandra Maselli, Designer

Consultants for design team

Landscape: Reed Hilderbrand
Exhibits: Experience Design
Lighting: Ripman Lighting
Civil: BETA Group
Structure: Odeh Engineers
MEP: AKF Engineers
80 Trowbridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138 telephone: 617-868-1766 fax: 617-661-1148