“It is not every community that is given a once in a lifetime chance to shape an iconic space in the heart of its town center,”

So says they home page of the Historic Newport Town Spring website. Indeed, a change is coming to the space that intersects Touro and Spring streets, where Coffey’s Citgo garage and gas station has operated for as long as anyone living can remember. The property was purchased last year with private donations from citizens and local foundations and is now the subject of a very active discussion about what it should become.

The committee to design the site has four core goals for the project:

  • Preservation of the unique historical significance of the site: The original town spring, around which our community was founded on the sole premise of religious freedom and tolerance.
  • Open space guarantee: A space that provides new opportunities for public access and civic enjoyment in perpetuity.
  • Traffic & pedestrian circulation and safety improvements in this complicated intersection.
  • A sustainable, community based design that will foster cultural & economic vitality.

MUSE students can do three things right away:

  1. Visit the website, learn more and then fill out the online survey. www.historicnewportspring.org
  2. Check the project calendar and go to a public meeting.
  3. Make a sketch of your idea for the site and submit. On the survey page you can download a map to draw on or just make your own! You can email, instagram or drop off your idea in the red mail slot of the kiosk in the middle of the site.
  4. Follow the project on instagram or twitter, sign up on their email list, or hey, do all three.

Have your ideas heard. Make a design for the new public space at Newport’s Historic Spring!

 “It is agreed and ordered that the Plantation now begun at this South west end of the island, shall be called Newport…and that the Towne shall be built upon both sides of the spring, and by the sea-side Southward.”

(Records of the Colony of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations;Volume I, 16th March, 1639)