“Isaac Bell Jr. was a successful cotton broker and investor, and the brother-in-law of James Gordon Bennett Jr., publisher of the New York Herald. Bell hired the New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White (Charles Follen McKim, William R. Mead, and Stanford White) to design his summer cottage. Known in Newport for designing Newport Casino, and later in Boston for designing Boston Public Library, they also designed the famous Pennsylvania Station in New York. Construction took place between 1881 and 1883.
“The Shingle Style was pioneered by Henry Hobson Richardson in his design for the William Watts Sherman House, also in Newport. This style of Victorian architecture was popular in the late nineteenth century and named after the extensive use of wooden shingles on the exterior. The Isaac Bell House exemplifies the style through its unpainted wood shingles, simple window & trim details, and multiple porches. It combines elements of the English Arts and Crafts movement philosophy, colonial American detailing, and features a Japanese-inspired open floor plan and bamboo-style porch columns. Interior features include inglenook fireplaces, natural rattan wall coverings, wall paneling and narrow-band wooden floors.
“The building's history includes being split up into apartments and serving as a nursing home. With the help of Carol Chiles Ballard, the house was bought in 1994 by the Preservation Society of Newport County, which won awards for its restoration, and which now operates it as a house museum.
“The Isaac Bell House was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997.”
~ Image and text are from Wikipedia