Socially Distant Celebration Marks Historic Restoration Project's Completion
June 9, 2020
BankNewport recently celebrated the completion of the historic restoration of its branch at 10 Washington Square in Newport with a socially-distant reveal. The project, a $5 million investment, revitalized the nearly 90-year-old building and it now integrates modern amenities, services, and technology to provide customers with an improved banking experience.
“We are so pleased to have reached this milestone,” said Sandra J. Pattie, President & CEO, BankNewport. “This project was truly a labor of love and we are so grateful to our branch manager, Evan Rose, and the wonderful employees here who continued to serve our customers despite the scaffolding, dust, and debris, which became ever-present as the work progressed.”
Founded in August 1819 as the Savings Bank of Newport, BankNewport is one of the country’s oldest community banks. The Washington Square branch is the bank’s flagship location, built from 1929 to 1930 of red brick, tall windows, and marble Corinthian columns at the front of the building, in keeping with the style of the existing classical architecture of the area.
Jim Farrar, president of Farrar & Associates, Inc., was the construction manager team leader for the project and oversaw significant mechanical and electrical updates, including a new HVAC system, the conversion of the original steam oil heat to natural gas; and as part of a green initiative, the separation of the existing waste and storm water systems. The project also allowed for enhanced ADA compliance, new LED lighting systems, and landscape upgrades.
The addition of an exterior ATM and personal teller machine gives customers a more personal and convenient way of banking. Inside the branch, the teller counter now serves as a backdrop for updated customer seating stations during transactions.
“This was a challenging project and it allowed our firm to put into practice our extensive experience, from managing historic restoration and preservation to introducing green technologies and advanced mechanical and electrical systems,” said Farrar. “The BankNewport team was a wonderful partner throughout the process, which required extensive communication – sometimes daily – to execute our detailed phasing plans that allowed the branch to stay operational.”
Bay State Restoration of Warren, who completed the exterior masonry restoration, using exact matches to the original marble and granite still sourced from the same quarries in Canada, while painters restored the hand-painted gold-leaf lettering on the exterior. Ken Wildes of Newport’s Joshua & Co. restored the ornate ceiling details and decorative plaster ornamentation inside the building, which required the creation of molds to reproduce the original designs which were added to other areas in the ceiling.
“There are only a few of us who are still working to preserve history in Newport, and it was a pleasure to collaborate with BankNewport and Jim Farrar to recreate, restore, and preserve this space for many years to come,” said Wildes.
With $1.7 billion in assets, BankNewport is one of the oldest community banks in the United States and, as a mutual organization, is committed to the financial success of its customers, employees and communities. BankNewport has 18 branch locations, with commercial lending offices in Cumberland and Providence.