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Breakers Mansion Welcome Center Clears Appeals Hurdle

Published
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of Newporters hoping to block the construction of a welcome center on the grounds of the historic...

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of Newporters hoping to block the construction of a welcome center on the grounds of the historic Breakers Mansion. This could mark the end of a months-long tussle over the building.

For nearly a year, the Preservation Society of Newport County has been fighting to build a visitors’ center on the front lawn of the Breakers Mansion. The Preservation Society maintains many of the city’s gilded-age mansions as museums, including the Breakers, constructed by the Vanderbilt family. Plans for the welcome center have included bathrooms, a snack bar, and information desk.

Last year, Newport’s Zoning Board approved those plans, but that was quickly appealed by area residents. A vocal neighborhood group opposed the center, saying it would destroy the Breakers’ historic landscape.

The Newport Superior court judge dismissed that challenge and all appeals Monday, likely paving the way for construction of the center.

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The back lawn of the Breakers Mansion, the vistors center would be constructed in the front.
The back lawn of the Breakers Mansion, the vistors center would be constructed in the front.