Sunday, August 26, 2012

Country House of Character - Mr. E. D. Morgan's summer home at Newport, R. I.

What constitutes the perfect country house? Country Life asked this question of several of the leading architects in New York, and asked them to indicate some country houses which they had designed and which, in their opinion, made them distinctive from other houses.

***Below is the work Architects Mckim, Mead & White chose  when asked by Country Life. This article was posted earlier with additional photos***


ALTHOUGH it was built more than a quarter of a century ago Mr. E. D. Morgan's residence at Newport, R. I.  today, as it always has, amongst the finest country homes in America, both for architectural beauty and for comfort. Time indeed seems to have softened its lines and mellowed its tones so that the house blends easily with the background of sea and sky, something which alas, cannot be said of some of the more modern country houses that arise every now and then.
In the construction of Mr. Morgan's house, the architects—Messrs. McKim, Mead & White, of New York—sought to make use of the natural advantages to the fullest extent possible. Situated on a rocky promontory, they selected gray stone to blend with the rock, so that the house seems a part of the rocks themselves instead of being merely perched on a cliff. The ivy covers both the rocks and the stone work to such an extent that it is almost impossible to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. To relieve the monotony of the gray stone, white pillars surround the wide porches and the pediments and gables are all painted white.

In the arrangement of the rooms, the living and masters' rooms occupy one wing of the house, while the other wing contains the servant quarters. One enters a spacious hall, out of which opens the living room with windows from which one obtains a splendid view of the waters of the Atlantic. The dining room, which has a similar view, adjoins the living room and can be entered either from the hall or living room. There are three large master's rooms on the first floor and two baths. In the opposite wing there are six servants' bedrooms with a bath room. The house is built around a court and a wide terrace in the rear overlooks the rocks and the bay, and near by is the famous bathing place, Bailey's Beach, probably the most famous beach in the world—where the members of Newport's summer colony take a morning plunge almost daily.In addition to its convenient planning and its architectural beauty, the Morgan house is essentially homelike. Every room seems to possess this quality and not even the hallway appears cold and cheerless. Possibly the passing years have added some of the softness and mellowness to obtain this desirable effect.

Mr. E. D. Morgan's summer home at Newport, R. I. - Painted by John Vincent

Click HERE to see "Beacon Rock" at


  1. Still a private residence, is that correct, now known as Beacon Rock?

  2. Yes - that's correct. Check the wikimapia link - it has a number of links that give further info.