BankNewport’s Washington Square Branch Undergoing Historic Restoration
Built in 1930, Branch to be returned to Original Glory with Modern Amenities in Spring of 2020
NEWPORT, R.I. (January 23, 2020) – The BankNewport branch located at 10 Washington Square in Newport is currently undergoing an historic restoration project, which will revitalize the nearly 90 year-old building and seamlessly integrate modern amenities, services and technology to provide customers with an unparalleled banking experience.
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, allowing it to blend seamlessly with the existing classical architecture of the area.
“It is an honor to have this beautiful piece of architecture in our portfolio,” said Sandra J. Pattie, President & CEO, BankNewport. “When it became necessary to replace some of the mechanicals in the branch to allow for more energy-efficient and comfortable heating and air conditioning, we evaluated the entire building, and determined it was time to give it the attention it deserves.”
Jim Farrar of Farrar Associates, Inc., is the Construction Manager Team Leader for the project. To date, the landmark property has had its mechanical and electrical updated; the HVAC system has been replaced, including the conversion of original steam oil heat to natural gas; and as part of a green initiative, the existing sewer and storm water systems have been separated to comply with regulations that were not in place at the time of original construction. The project will also include enhanced ADA compliance, new LED lighting systems, a modernized exterior ATM experience and landscape upgrades.
Cosmetically, BankNewport is working with local artisans to restore and recreate some of the building’s original artistry including the hand-painted gold-leaf lettering on the exterior and the ornate ceiling details. The existing decorative plaster ornamentation in the lobby has been restored by Ken Wildes of Newport’s Joshua & Co., who also created molds to reproduce the original designs which will be added to other areas in the bank. Exterior masonry restoration by Bay State Restoration in Warren is ongoing, using exact matches to the original marble and granite sourced from quarries in Canada.
“Our team has contracted with incredible area artisans who value the historic relevance of the space and the importance of maintaining its authenticity while also ushering it into the modern era,” continued Pattie. “We have proudly continued to serve our customers throughout this project and look forward to the entire community celebrating the refreshed and revitalized space this spring.”
Upon completion of the project, customers will enjoy a more personal and convenient way of banking. A new drive-up area will provide access to Personal Teller Machines (PTM), which will offer the personal touch of a real-life banker delivered electronically with the convenience of a traditional ATM, providing extended hours for banker support as well as a night depository; and the traditional teller counter, which will remain intact at the Washington Square branch, will be replaced for day-to-day use with POD stations for customer seating during transactions.
Founded in 1819 and headquartered in Newport, BankNewport offers a full suite of loan and deposit products and services for families and businesses throughout Rhode Island. 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.
BankNewport business lines include OceanPoint Marine Lending, specializing in consumer marine and recreational vehicle financing programs, and OceanPoint Insurance, a Trusted Choice independent insurance agency, providing a broad range of property casualty insurance products, including financial services and marine related insurance products.