2015-12-03 / Around Town

Community Effort Enhances Stone Tower


While many may disagree about the Stone Tower’s origins, no one disagrees about the significance of this important city landmark. (Photo by Jim Egan) While many may disagree about the Stone Tower’s origins, no one disagrees about the significance of this important city landmark. (Photo by Jim Egan) With its prominent placement in Touro Park, Newport's Old Stone Tower has stood the test of time, weather and social change. As with all historic landmarks, its preservation requires that it be protected and cared for so that future generations can enjoy that same beauty and mystery.

In June of 2013 the board of directors of the Historic Hill Association stepped up and took action to preserve and enhance the Touro P ark S tone Tower. T he group recognized the poor condition of the fence surrounding the tower and decided to tackle this issue. The board’s first action was to create a Stone Tower Restoration Committee composed of Pamela Giroux, Jean Gorham, Federico Santi and Peter Chabot.

The committee, in coordination with the city, determined what was necessary to restore the fence and to replace oversized spotlights, installed in the 1970s, with more energy-efficient, low profile LED lights. “The Historic Hill Association was glad to accept this challenge that makes a difference for residents and visiting tourists,” said Santi, a member of the association.

The campaign reached out to the Newport community and more than $45,000 was raised for the project. The City of Newport Public Services Department coordinated the restoration work, upgraded the park electrical service and provided in-house labor to reduce the overall project cost. “We could not have done this without the help of our neighbors and friends,” said Scott Wheeler, buildings and grounds supervisor. “It is evident the community cares about the tower and recognizes its historic value to Newport.”

With the project complete the public is encouraged to visit Touro Park at night to appreciate the historic tower seen in its new light. For more information about the tower, visit historichillassociation.com.

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