Travers Block, Newport Rhode Island
The Travers Block was built in 1870-1871 for William R. Travers and was designed by Richard Morris Hunt. It is significant as one of four buildings that comprise a distinguished commercial street, the east side of Bellevue Avenue beginning with this building and running south. The next building, and the next in date, is the Newport Casino. The largest of the four, and historically the best known, it was not only a commercial building but a social center for the summer colony as well. Built in 1880-1881, it is a well known example of the Shingle Style work of the architects McKim, Mead, and White. The third building in the group is the King Block, designed by the Boston architects Perkins and Betton, and built in 1892-1893. The Audrain Building, built 1902-1903, Bruce Price, architect, is the southern anchor of the group. The four buildings maintain a long street line and are basically related in scale and massing. They are also related in their use of broken silhouettes and richly textured surfaces, which at the same time allow great variety and liveliness. Without matching, the buildings compliment each other in a particularly urbane way and form an ensemble which should be preserved.
The interiors on the ground floor have undergone numerous alterations to accommodate the various shops and businesses renting space in the building. This has resulted in some obvious, but fortunately superficial alterations to the exterior of the building. There have been no additions.
Over-all dimensions: 174 feet by 64 feet; rectangular plan; 10 bays; 2-1/2 stories.
Floor plan: The first floor is divided into ten shops, each 16 feet by 60 feet, and a central entrance hall. There were forty bachelor apartments on the second and third floors. The central stair hall is intersected by a north-south double-loaded corridor.