"Guest View: Newport Preservation Society Refuses to Negotiate a Compromise on Unpopular Breakers Proposal," feature in WhatsUp Newp
The Newport Preservation Society has refused to meet with The Friends of Newport Preservation to seek a compromise regarding the controversial proposal to build a party venue on the grounds of The Breakers, next to the gatehouse designed as part of the estate. In a letter to the chair of the Society board dated March 2 the community group had sought a meeting to discuss alternatives and find common ground. The olive branch was rejected by the Preservation Society.
“We are looking for a collaborative approach,” said Mary Joan Hoene of the Friends group. “We want to work together with the Preservation Society to make a plan that protects The Breakers and works for everyone. There’s no question that visitor services are needed, but the current scheme is poorly considered and contrary to the Society’s preservation mission.”
The group offered to share historic photo simulations focusing on the northwest quadrant of The Breakers’ property, the proposed location of the controversial new venue. Heritage Landscapes LLC, an internationally-recognized preservation landscape architecture and planning firm has carefully adapted photographs and records of the Vanderbilt Family, dating back to the early 20th century, to demonstrate what the landscape could look like if properly restored.
The Preservation Society refused a meeting in a terse, one-page letter.