Newport Gateway Center to get facelift

NEWPORT, R.I. — A plan to give the Gateway Center on America’s Cup Avenue a new look was unveiled to the public on Wednesday by Evan Smith, the president and CEO of Discover Newport, the regional visitors and convention bureau.

He described the plan as practical, affordable and actionable. The building and the 8-acre site are owned by the city of Newport. In 1988, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority signed a 99-year lease to use part of the site as a bus terminal, so both parties would have to support the redesign.

Smith said he was encouraged after meeting with City Manager Jane Howington Wednesday morning and with Mark Therrien, RIPTA’s assistant general manager, in the afternoon.

“We want to inspire our partners, realizing we are the tenants,” Smith said. “We are open to the ideas and creativeness of the city and RIPTA if they want to change this redevelopment plan.”

Some of the white canvas canopies over the Gateway Center’s walkways were torn up by superstorm Sandy last October and have been removed. Therrien said he would see if federal disaster money is available for the damages.

Howington said the city has been in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency about receiving funding for repairs.

Architect Ross Cann of A4 Architecture, in consultation with Discover Newport staff, developed the modest redesign plan, Smith said. It calls for about 50 percent of the blue steel girders that held up the white canopies to be removed. The outside bank of girders and canopies along America’s Cup Avenue would be removed and replaced by trees.


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1 thought on “Newport Gateway Center to get facelift”

  1. About the visitors center.This is a gathering place for Newport’s visitor’s they come from all over the world and look at this center for guidance and information.This is a great location for such a place.The town council must approve this effort to improve the exterior of our welcome center.there are some newly elected and one that was not elected by the citizen’s vote on said council who are apposed to this endeavor? Why because they want to sell this location out to the highest bidder without regards to the needs of the people of Newport or the visitors who congregate there year after year.This center must be kept-up and shame on any council member that would disapprove of the up-keep of our visitor center.

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