Restoration and Expansion2023-08-09T09:16:29-04:00

The restoration and expansion of this Newport, Rhode Island, historic landmark (1750), the oldest lending library in continuous operation in America, was anything but typical. To achieve 18th-century standards, the sensitive restoration and expansion work required a vast range of centuries-old protocols and materials.

“Daily, as visitors, tourists and our patrons come to the Redwood, they are impressed and even awe-struck with how extraordinarily beautiful it is. That is a testament both to the institution itself and the fine job that Walsh Brothers did in restoring, renovating and expanding this historic library.”

Library Director
Redwood Library and Athenaeum

The project involved the hand-scraping of up to 40 layers of paint, so that the colors visible today replicated those utilized in 1750. At the same time, the team ensured the seamless integration of modernized building systems introducing 21st-century technology to the facility. Great care was taken to place new systems out of sight, requiring the team to work within unusually tight interstitial spaces, so that the appearance of the historic building was disturbed as little as possible.

Photo Credits: Frank Giuliani


Newport, RI


Shepley Bulfinch (Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott)


2008 Rhode Island Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Inc. (RIAGC) Build Rhode Island Award
2007 Associated General Contractors Build New England Performance Award
2007 Doris Duke Historic Preservation Award