12 Unique Rhode Island Spots To Photograph

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S. by area, but it home to countless beautiful places. Among the different towns making up Rhode Island are some pretty unique structures and sights. This blog post covers a few of the most unique places to see in Rhode Island. They are well worth seeking out and photographing. Check them out below!

Chinese Tea House at Marble House

Marble House is a Gilded Age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island built for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. Alva Vanderbilt was a leading hostess in Newport society and envisioned Marble House as her “temple to the arts” in America. The home was completed in 1892 and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rhode Island. The home can be toured and also viewed from Cliff Walk. One interesting feature of the Marble House is the Chinese Tea House which sits on the property which was built in 1912. The Chinese Tea House is open seasonally to visitors and serves drinks and light snacks.

Clingstone

Clingstone, commonly referred to as “The house on a rock” is one of the most unique homes in the state of Rhode Island. The home was built in 1904 for J. S. L. Wharton who had lost his original estate to the government when they seized it to build a fort. Clingstone stands atop a small, rocky island in Narragansett Bay near Jamestown. The home boasts 10,000-square-feet of living space around 23 rooms and 3 stories. Many did not believe Clingstone would last long due to the tiny island it stood on and the storms that pass through Narragansett Bay.

Crook Point Bascule Bridge

Crook Point Bascule Bridge is an abandoned Scherzer rolling lift railway bridge that spans 850-feet over the Seekonk River. The bridge originally connected the city of Providence to the city of East Providence. The bridge opened in 1908 and was abandoned in 1976 after the East Side Railroad Tunnel and Union Station closed. Since 1976, the Crook Point Bascule Bridge has remained in its stuck-up position and is often referred to by locals as the “Stuck-Up Bridge.” It’s an iconic display of urban decay.

Fleur-de-Lys Studio

The Fleur-de-Lys Studios, also known as Fleur-de-Lis Studios or Sydney Burleigh Studio, is a historic art studio, and an important structure in the development of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States. The studio was built in 1885 and designed by Sydney Richmond Burleigh and Edmund R. Wilson. The building features a hand-carved façade with multiple faux reliefs and a motley yellow color scheme. The Fleur-de-Lys Studio is truly unlike any other building in the city!

Fort Wetherill

Fort Wetherill is a former coast artillery fort that occupies the southern portion of the eastern tip of Conanicut Island in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The fort is uniquely situated atop high granite cliffs with a great view over the entrance to Narragansett Bay. The land was originally occupied by Fort Dumpling which was situated there from 1798-1899. In 1899, the U.S. government gathered more land in Jamestown and established Fort Wetherill. The fort was used during both World War 1 and World War 2. The State of Rhode Island officially acquired the fort on 16 August 1972 and reconfigured the site for public use as a state park. The public state park occupies 61.5 acres and has beautiful walking trails, fort views, scuba diving, and more.

Forty Steps

Forty Steps is a must-visit location when exploring the Ocean State. Forty Steps was built in the early 1800s and can be found less than a mile from the start of Cliff Walk. The location consists of a stairway that leads down to the ocean with…. you guessed it, 40 steps! The site is the perfect way to experience the crashing waves of the Atlantic and to feel the sea breeze.

Green Animals Topiary Garden

The Green Animals Topiary Garden, near Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is the country’s oldest and northernmost topiary garden. The Narragansett Bay is visible from the 7-acre estate. It has a huge topiary collection, comprising eighty sculptured trees.

Gun Totem

Gun Totem is a 12-foot tall sculpture that was constructed in 2001 by the artist, Boris Bally. There are more than 1,000 guns used in the creation of the sculpture which was funded by the Providence Parks Department. All guns were disabled and are fossilized within concreate. It is truly one of the most unique obelisks you will find!

Newport Tower

The Newport Tower, also known as the Old Stone Mill, is a round stone tower in Touro Park in Newport, Rhode Island, that is the remnant of a mid-seventieth-century windmill. It has gotten a lot of interest since some people think it’s several centuries older and hence could be evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic interaction. This belief has been disproved by carbon dating.

Providence Athenaeum

The Providence Athenaeum is an independent, member-supported subscription library located in Providence, Rhode Island. The current library was established in 1836 after two earlier subscription libraries (The Providence Library Company and the Providence Athenaeum) merged. Although the facility is open to the public, only members have the ability to check out items from the collection.

The Bells

The Bells was once one of Newport’s most beautiful properties. The oceanfront estate was built in 1876 for copper magnate Theodore Davis who filled the house with beautiful artifacts and treasures. The home did change hands in 1928 and during WWII the home was seized to house gunnery personnel who manned anti-aircraft gun emplacements. The home was set on fire in 1961 and demolished in 1963. Today, a crumbling stone stable and carriage house are all that remain. The decaying structures can be found in public parkland.

The Towers

The Towers are a historic structure in Narragansett, Rhode Island located at 35 Ocean Road. It is the only surviving structure from the 1880s Narragansett Pier Casino which burned down on September 12, 1900. Today, The Towers are used for hosting weddings, dances, dinners, plays, and other events. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1969.

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