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Redwood Library & Athenaeum

50 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840-3229
+1 401-847-0292
Website
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Review Highlights
Wow - A Wonderful Find

I am in a club and we visited the Redwood Library for our Christmas Program. This place is filled... read more

Reviewed 1 January 2018
buzzknit
,
Swansea, Massachusetts
Don't judge this book by its cover

What a fabulous find! Our tour began on the front walk with a detailed description of the exterior... read more

Reviewed 8 October 2017
KittyF309
,
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
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Overview
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Chartered in 1747, the Redwood Library & Athenæum is a museum, rare book repository, the nation's oldest public Neoclassical building and the oldest operating lending library still in its original structure. Designed by Peter Harrison and built in 1750 the library contains over 200,000 titles in its Circulating and Special Collections, another 751 titles forming the Original Collection which were purchased by the founders, and an exceptional collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century portraits by such artists as John Smibert, Robert Feke, Charles Bird King, and Gilbert Stuart. In addition there is a range of sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts. Lectures, gallery talks, and musical events are scheduled throughout the year, and unique gift items and used books are available in the gift shop. Tours given Monday through Saturday at 10:30am.
  • Excellent64%
  • Very good29%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gift shop” (2 reviews)
“portraits” (10 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
50 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840-3229
CONTACT
Website
+1 401-847-0292
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Reviews (72)
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"beautiful building"
in 2 reviews
"gift shop"
in 2 reviews
"portraits"
in 10 reviews
"libraries"
in 6 reviews
"redwoods"
in 7 reviews
"oldest"
in 21 reviews
"collection"
in 10 reviews
"architecture"
in 7 reviews
"history"
in 17 reviews
"exhibition"
in 3 reviews
"treasure"
in 4 reviews
"survived"
in 2 reviews
"docent"
in 3 reviews
"facts"
in 2 reviews
"mansion"
in 4 reviews
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1 - 10 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 1 January 2018

I am in a club and we visited the Redwood Library for our Christmas Program. This place is filled with history and beautiful artifacts. We had a talk from a Docent and we learned the long history of the building and the books and how...More

Thank buzzknit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redwood L, Guest Relations Manager at Redwood Library & Athenaeum, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2018

Hello and thank you for the review. We are very happy that you had such a wonderful experience. We hope to see you again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2017

What a fabulous find! Our tour began on the front walk with a detailed description of the exterior. Elaine, our tour guide, is well-formed and obviously loves her subject. Her enthusiasm is infectious. This historic library features 93% of its original volumes, in addition to...More

Thank KittyF309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redwood L, Guest Relations Manager at Redwood Library & Athenaeum, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2018

Hello and thank you for the great review! We are thrilled to hear you had a lovely time here at our library.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2017 via mobile

A historic story that has survived time. Coming here is a step back into time! Libraries were not always free and were once the oasis of the educated and wealthy. This library was founded in 1747, before the American Revolution. It's the oldest library still...More

1  Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 June 2017 via mobile

What an amazing visit! The 200 plus year old trees out front are the first wonder of your visit. The portraits inside are true treasures. The books from the 1760s are spectacular. One note: there is a $10 fee for anyone over 18. It's well...More

1  Thank Malinda U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2017

Yes, there may be older libraries in Philadelphia and elsewhere, but this is the oldest lending library in continuous use in all of America. Pretty cool. Not only that, but it has also retained its architectural integrity over the years. Early preservationists saved the oldest...More

1  Thank ragtop_rider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2017

Beautiful building and inside architecture. Not sure if they offert tours but know they have readings on special nights

Thank sandra r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2016 via mobile

There are several lovely gifts for holiday shopping. Redwood member can receive 20% discount on all purchase. From now to March 2017 The Variable Line: Master Drawings, Renaissance to Contemporary in Van Allen Gallery.

1  Thank Raimund C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2016

A friend works here so we finally paid a visit here yesterday. People may walk by without paying much attention to the "mansion" but, when history of it unveils all we'd do was to awe, and to admire. That said the style of the edifice...More

Thank simonfung888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gretchen M, Public Relations Manager at Redwood Library & Athenaeum, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2016

We are glad that you enjoyed your visit to the Redwood Library & Athenaeum! Yes, Thomas Jefferson visited George Washington in Newport in 1790 after which time he advocated the adoption of the neo-classical style for the nation's federal buildings. Designed by Peter Harrison, the...More

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Reviewed 14 November 2016

In an amazing Palladian brownstone building, this library has a small but interesting collection of books and artwork. The building itself is really pretty, a nice place to hang out and relax while broadening your understanding of this fascinating city.

Thank michael g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2016

This is basically a very old and quiet library with early American portraits lining the walls up along the ceilings.

Thank Poppadoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
poguemahion6
14 April 2018|
Answer
Response from Redwood L | Property representative |
Yes the Redwood Library is wheelchair accessible with a ramp at our entrance and elevator service to all of our levels. Thank you for your question.
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