“the fourth oldest statehouse still standing in the US”
The Newport Colony House is the fourth oldest statehouse still standing in the United States. It was designed by builder/architect Richard Munday, who also designed Trinity Church and the Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House in Newport. The Colony House was built between 1736 and 1739 by Benjamin Wyatt, and tradition maintains that a great number of African-Americans were employed in its construction. The building replaced a smaller wooden courthouse built about 1687. The Colony House was constructed as part of the movement to bring formal town planning to Newport, which until then had developed in haphazard fashion. It was intended to help transform the Parade, as Washington Square was then named, into an elegant public space in keeping with the traditions of English cities. The design of the Colony House is derived from the English Georgian style popularized by the architect Sir Christopher Wren, but its floor plan follows the customary layout of English town or guild halls, which often had an open marketplace on the ground floor and civic offices on the second floor.
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Old Colony House
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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