For development, documentation, and presentation of designed solutions for  mitigation of impacts of sea level rise on an 18th-­â€centuryhouse in Newport, RI

In April 2016, the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) is hosting a national conference on sea level rise, historic preservation, and how to reconcile the two, under the title Keeping History Above Water. Through site visits, two full days of keynote and panel presentations, and smaller workshops and seminars, the conference will examine the state of the problem nationwide and explore practical approaches – at building, community, disciplinary, regulatory, and economic levels -­â€-­â€ to protecting the historic built environment in coastal communities from increasing threats of inundation. Programming partners include the Union of Concerned Scientists, National Trust for Historic Preservation, the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, and the Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island.

To reinforce the emphasis on the practical, the NRF plans to present at the conference a case study of mitigation interventions that might be applied to a recently acquired, yet to be restored, colonial house and landscape in Newport’s historic Point neighborhood, namely the Christopher Townsend House at 74 Bridge Street. The adjacent intersection, at 4‘ above sea level, represents the topographic low point of  the neighborhood, with the basement of the house, on land that rises to 6’ above sea level, subject already to both storm and regular tidal flooding.  

The case study project will be managed on a pro bono basis by Mohamad Farzan, RIBA, AIA. The goal of the work is to have three to four scenarios, at a range of costs and degrees of intervention, for resiliency-­â€minded restoration of the Christopher Townsend House. The NRF requests proposals for the development, documentation, and preparation for presentation of the design process as described  below in the scope of work. The scenarios are to be developed in close consultation with Mr. Farzan and NRF preservation staff. The proposal should include:

  1. 1.     Detailed description of how the requirements in each area of the scope of work (see below) are to be fulfilled
  2. 2.     Qualifications of the firm/practitioner to carry out this work
  3. 3.     Timeline for the work
  4. 4.     Budget with pricing for individual cost areas  



As-­â€built plans must be drawn for the property. The bid should also provide for a certain level of historical and technical research, as well as any additional photography that might be required (in addition to existing professional photographs to be supplied by NRF)


The successful bidder will invite, host, and document a gathering of local and other experts – selected in consultation with the project manager and NRF -­â€-­â€ to develop preservation solutions that are informed  by the latest, proven understanding of effective mitigation practices; to include, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and historic preservation professionals.


Selected firm will distill the results of the charrette, in consultation with the project manager and staff of NRF, into three or four drawn schemes for presentation through static display and discussion on site during the Keeping History Above Water conference. Plans should include all drawings necessary to convey both conceptual and technical information, narrative descriptions, and product specifications/samples (if available).


Bid should include all costs for preparation of print, electronic, and other materials for presentation;  time for staff to be present to answer questions and participate in discussion of the presented scenarios.


NRF will provide project management oversight and logistics support for the presentation at the conference, to include: tent set up and furnishing for backyard of 74 Bridge Street, general promotion of the case studies and presentation.

NRF’s project manager for the case studies will oversee follow-­â€up publication of the exercise and its incorporation into preservation planning for the property.

The NRF will be solely responsible for any decisions about the incorporation of case study strategies into final plans for the preservation/restoration of 74 Bridge Street.


Site visits are required prior to bidding. To arrange for a time, and for any other questions, please contact: Margot Nishimura, 401-­â€846-­â€4152, ext. 114;

Deadline for proposals: October 30, 2015; to be sent to Margot Nishimura;

Project dates (should be projected with specific dates in proposals): Charrette by late January/mid February 2016; presentation drafts by mid March 2016; Installation on site April 9-­â€10, 2016; conference presentations April 10-­â€13