Ocean Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island, meanders along the jagged coast of one of the state’s many peninsulas. To the South you can catch glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean between the gorgeous houses that line the waterfront. One of these houses is known as “Wildacre” and it sits at 319 Ocean Avenue, on Prices Neck Cove. The house features a stone facade, and sits on 2.49 acres of prime beachfront land. Wildacre’s house and grounds were a collaboration between the architect Irving Gill, a pioneer of modern architecture, and the Olmstead Landscape firm. The house was actually built for Albert Olmstead as a summer home between 1901 and 1904- Albert being the banking brother to the landscaper Fredrick Olmstead, who had a hand in planning the grounds of his brother’s summer estate. In 1998 the house was bought by the Campbell’s Soup heiress, Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton (whose grandfather invented the condensed soup process), and she took a lead in restoring the home and its landscaping. Wildacre is on the National Register of Historical Places, and has been a recipient of a Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission Honor Award.
The house is perfect for summer fun- the splayed V-plan, 2 ½ story house has multiple options for communal living space on the first floor. The dining room and sitting room, to the right and left of the entrance hall, respectively, both open onto the seaside porch room- an indoor porch perfect for relaxing and taking in the sunny ocean views. From there, it is merely a few steps to the outdoor patio surrounding the infinity pool that appears to flow into the bay. If the infinity pool isn’t adventurous enough for your taste, try jumping off the dock into Price’s Neck Cove! Or perhaps you’d rather take the boat out to the ocean? Luckily, Dorrance Hamilton had a private dock installed . For those who want to stay on dry land, the property has a beautiful expansive lawn, complete with a greenhouse and a shade pavilion.
Upstairs, family and friends can stay in any of the seven bedrooms, several of which face the water. They are protected from too much sun, however, by blue and black striped awnings which keep the sun away from your face until you decide to wake up and take in the day.
The kitchen is airy and has miles of counter space, but is still cozy and inviting. There is easily enough space for all guests to cook and eat together while enjoying the view of the water.
Newport houses of this caliber do not become available very often, so if you wish to acquire Wildacre, you must act quickly! The house and grounds are listed through Gustav White of Sotheby’s International Realty, with a price tag of $15.75 million. Contact Michelle Kirby, and it could be you relaxing at Wildacre next summer!