2015-08-06 / Opinion

Preservation Compromised at Rosecliff

To the Editor:

Merriam-Webster defines preservation as “the careful maintaining and protection of something valuable especially in its natural or original state.” How can one justify turning Rosecliff, a unique jewel of Newport, into exhibition space and moving its furnishings to Massachusetts as an act of preservation? The building and its contents together are a well thought out piece of history.

Is there a need for exhibition space that can be fulfilled only by Rosecliff? Certainly not. Why not take an estate that is in need of a use and put the exhibition space there? Newport has many magnificent places that could be used for this purpose. This approach would result in a new exhibition space and a repurposing of an underutilized property. Win-win for Newport.

The idea of moving any of Rosecliff’s furnishings to another state makes no sense. The furnishings were brought here specifically to be housed in Rosecliff.

These proposals are not consistent with the definition of preservation. If this idea represents the mind-set of the Preservation Society, Newports mansions are in trouble.

Amy Goleb-Kimmel

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