The Historic Hill Association

Newport, Rhode Island


Newport’s single most identifiable sentinel to its past is the Stone Tower in Touro Park. Displayed on the City flag, the Tower has silently watched over the comings and goings of Newport’s history and is still shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

Guarding the Tower is a 19th century cast iron fence, protecting it from those who might want to get a closer look at the Tower for good or for mischief.

The ages have taken its toll on the condition of the fence.

The Historic Hill Association, seeing a need for restoration of the fence is reaching out to the community asking for help in raising the funds needed to restore the fence.

More details here.


Hill Residents and Businesses; A representative of The Historic Hill Association along with a representative of The Point Association will be meeting with representatives of The Newport Yachting Center to discuss the on going issue of amplified music levels created during the Yachting Center Concerts so far this summer. We would like to hear from Nextdoor readers their comments, concerns, etc. about this issue. All comments would be appreciated and will be helpful in our discussions. Federico Santi The Historic Hill Association 158 Spring Street Newport, RI 02840


August 2014: GAS LIGHTS

The Historic Hill Association has been in conversations with Bill Riccio, Director of Public Services for The City of Newport, concerning establishing an "adopt a gas light" program. Residents and businesses and non-profit organizations would be able to adopt one (or more) gas lights to aid in the yearly maintenance of the gas light. Standard maintenance would include replacing gas mantles and cleaning the glass. More substantial maintenance such as repairs and replacement of parts could be accommodated by a more aggressive maintenance agreement which would be aided by foundation financial assistance. Each light would be numbered and a log would be established stating who has adopted the light or lights. A Resolution is being brought forth by Third Ward Councilor Kate Leonard to City Council to support this initiative.
The program should be in place by the coming fall.
This is the proposed Gas Light Resolution to go before the next city council meeting:
WHEREAS, in a previous resolution The City of Newport recognized "the value of gaslights and the positive impact they have on tourism in the City of Newport" and
WHERAS, the Historic Hill Association understands the challenges Newport faces in maintaining its street gas light system; and
WHERAS, limited budget funds have failed to keep up with maintenance, repairs caused by accidents and the toll of salt air on the various metal surfaces; and
WHERAS, with that in mind, The Hill Association has offered a proposal for an "Adopt a Gas Light" program and this could be a viable solution to "keeping the gas lights on " in Newport; BE IT
RESOLVED: that the Council hereby authorized the City of Newport to explore the concept of an "Adopt a Gas Light" program and reports its findings back to the Council.


The Historic Hill Neighborhood Association raised enough funds at their annual garden party this summer to purchase a park bench for Touro Park. The new bench will be placed facing The Stone Tower and will be dedicated to the memory of Judah Touro who left funds in his will to purchase the Tower and park for The City of Newport.  This is the 3rd bench donated by The Association in Touro Park.
 (The park bench cost $1,616.00)


At the June 11 Newport city Council meeting the council voted unanimously against approving an outdoor amplified music live entertainment license to Vanderbilt Grace hotels. Vanderbilt located at 41 Mary St. requested an outdoor amplified music entertainment license from 7 AM to 11 PM seven days a week. Proposed location was to be on the roof of the Vanderbilt. A number of residents and businesses spoke against the proposed license including the director of the Newport Restoration Foundation. After about 15 minutes of testimony from neighbors with no representative for the Vanderbilts the city council voted unanimously against the proposed entertainment license. Also during that hearing the smokehouse Café 31 Scott's war was prepared to request an expansion of their entertainment license from 12 noon to 9 PM however they withdrew their application without prejudice. There were several letters of opposition from several bed-and-breakfasts and residents in the immediate area. It would not be surprising if both applicants were to come before city Council again for these licenses.

Rico Santi


A report from The Hill.
I met with two couples last night at 9 o'clock at the Harborview condo next to the Yachting Center; they had two professional noise meters. The noise level coming from the concert was so loud that you had to speak very very loudly next to them to be heard. They took readings using their noise meters and both of them came up with a noise level of between 79.5 and 83.9 dB. The limit for that area which his zoned business is 75 dB. Each decided to call the police and complain about the loud noise. They called around 10 minutes after nine. The police said they would send a zoning officer to investigate and the zoning officer arrived about 20 minutes later. The zoning officer took readings and determined that the noise level was at 79.5, well above the amount allowed by city ordinance. He said he would report this immediately to the police department with the expectation that they would Cite the yachting Center for violation of the city noise ordinance. We fully expect to find in the Newport daily news police report on Monday that the yachting Center was cited for violation of the city noise ordinance. If there is no notice of that then there is a serious disconnect between the city zoning officer and the Newport Police Department. While I was there from 9 o'clock until 10 there were two ambulances taking people away from the yachting Center plus police officers with three cruisers arrived to break up a fight and arrest people one with handcuffs that was taken away.
And so it goes . . .
Federico Santi
Board member of The Historic Hill Association


Newport’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Launches Pedestrian Safety Survey for Month of May, read more here.


Today Saturday the Newport daily news voters survey asks what time you think the yachting Center should turn off their loud amplified music.
The choices are 9:30 PM, 10:30 PM, or 11:30 PM.
I strongly encourage Historic Hill residences + Point residents to take the survey and check off the 9:30 PM choice.
The web address for the Newport daily news is:
We Need to send a strong message to the powers that be that it is time to take back the quality of life for the Hill residents.
Federico Santi, board-member The Historic Hill Association


Federico Santi, representing The Historic Hill Association Board of Directors address Newport City Council on a requested variance proposed by The Newport Yachting Center to extend hours of operation for an upcoming comedy night from 9:30 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Dan Summner representing the abutting Harborview Condo Association (Paul Callahan, President) spoke as did condo residents Mr. and Mrs. James Head. Mr. Santi turned in a detailed letter reviewing the entertainment licenses from the inception in 1998 with specific references by The Yachting Center for their “Sunset Music Festival”: “Gates would be open at 5:30 p.m. and all music will stop by 9:30 p.m.” “The ‘Sunset Music Festival’ will only take place on weeknights. There will be no Friday, Saturday, or Sunday dates.” “We will not hire entertainment that is typically loud, i.e. heavy metal rock and roll or reggae music”. Sixteen years later: there are now 16 reggae, rock and heavy metal concerts scheduled weekends, noise levels have risen to an intolerable level impacting the abutting condo residents and Hill residents as well. Interim Chair, Naomi Neville proposed a compromise ending the comedy entertainment at 10:30 p.m. instead of 11:15 p.m. When the final vote was taken, Naomi Neville, Jean Marie Napolitano and Michael Farley voted in favor of the variance while Justin McLaughlin and Kate Leonard voted against the variance. Harry Winthrop and Marco Camacho were on a City of Newport sponsored visit to Shimoda Japan. Justin gave an excellent impassioned reason for denying the waiver. So the compromise in reality compromised the quality of life for the abutting Condo residents and hundreds of Historic Hill residents as well. When the renewal for all entertainment licenses came up for vote, The Vice-Chair Naomi Neville did not ask for comments from the floor and quickly moved to vote for blanket renewal for all applicants including the Newport Yachting Center. The objectors to the Newport Yachting Center variance were expecting to be able to address their concerns about the general concerns about  The Yachting Center but were in reality were blindsided by the council chair and were not able to speak.  And so it goes in Newport, politics as usual.


Hill Association members: if you are concerned about the noise that is already coming from the Newport yachting Center all summer long get ready for more. This Wednesday evening at 6:30 at Newport City Hall before city Council May 14 the Newport yachting center will be asking for a waiver to their entertainment license. They Are asking for a second comedy show to start at 9:45 PM to 11:15 PM. Under the license right now this show stops at 9:15. They  want to extend it to 11:15 PM. This means two additional hours of noise coming from the Newport yachting Center.
So please take time to show up at city Council this Wednesday to speak against this variance to their entertainment license. For further information call Federico Santi at 261-3980.


Historic Hill sponsors trash cart workshop.
The Historic Hill Association held it’s trash cart workshop Thursday evening May 8 at 6:30 PM at the Newport public library.



For more information see this article in Newport Patch, click here.

New Garbage bins


Hill Board member Federico Santi, informed the Newport City Council about the upcoming workshop sponsored by The Historic Hill Association concerning the new city wide garbage collection system. The workshop will take place at The Newport Public Library May 8th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Federico invited Newport City Councilors to attend the workshop. Another resident also expressed concerns about the new Waste Management contract that if implemented would impact bulk waste collection with the result of illegal dumping on City property in the Rogers High School area.


Federico Santi will address the council on behalf of the Board of Directors of The Historic Hill Association next Wednesday 23rd April during the three-minute pre-meeting to remind them about the garbage container workshop coming up May 8 with the hopes that some of the council members will be able to attend.


The Historic Hill Association is sponsoring a workshop Thursday May 8th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Newport Public Library for Hill Residents to ask questions and express concerns about the proposed new garbage container system to be used throughout the City. Kirstin Littlefield, Clean City Coordinator of Clean City Program will be on hand to answer questions. There will be a proposed container on display at the meeting for residents to view. If you have any questions, please call Federico Santi (Historic Hill Board Member) at 261-3980