Statement of Significance (as of designation - November 24, 1968):
From around 1740 until the Revolution, when it was occupied by the British, Newport flourished as a port and mercantile center and as Newport was Rhode Island's colonial capital. The district's Georgian public buildings and mansions are among the most advanced in style of any erected in the Colonies. Rows of small dwellings and shops, largely near the waterfront, form a harmonious ensemble of buildings that relate to each other in scale, texture, mass and materials, and also give the area architectural distinction. Providence became the capital and most important urban center of the state after the Revolution, and Newport was left to slumber until it became a prosperous summer resort in the 19th century.