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READERS' LETTERS

Let's work together to find a better solution for visitors center

The very soul of Newport is being ripped apart by persons tasked with preserving our history. Damaging, interrupting and compromising the original and historically important path and gardens at The Breakers, designed by the renowned Boston landscape firm Bowditch & Bowditch, is not preservation. This is where the Preservation Society of Newport County wishes to install its visitors center. This is not preservation.

The Friends of Newport Preservation and growing numbers of supporters are outraged that the society is damaging and compromising the heritage of Newport, and its future.

As I wrote in a letter published by The Newport Daily News in November 2014: “The Preservation Society has divided the community, demonstrated that historically important landscapes and gardens are not important in its overall plan, and its 'sensitive, well-conceived plan that considers the integrity of the site' will allow the residential neighborhood to be overrun with eateries. Is this how the Preservation Society carries out 'best practices of preservation and stewardship?'” Since then, misguided and misled individuals, some local and state government officials and the Rhode Island court system have fallen under the erroneous impression that placing the visitors center on this National Historic Landmark and emblem of Newport is OK. Meanwhile, noted architects, citizens of Newport, historians, important garden enthusiasts including the Garden Conservatory of the United States and a groundswell of individuals are asking the board of trustees and management of the Preservation Society to observe its public trust and do the right thing: Please put the visitors center elsewhere than The Breakers property.

Please join us; let's all work cooperatively to save the gardens of The Breakers and create a win for Newport instead of destruction.

1. Visit our Friends of Newport Preservation Facebook page where you can keep up with this issue, review our proposals, access and sign our change. org petition, share what The Breakers means to you, and more.

2. Write your own letter to the editor about what the history of The Breakers means to you.

3. Share your stories and letters with FriendsofNewportPreservation@gmail. com.

Judy McLennan, Portsmouth The Friends of Newport Preservation and growing numbers of supporters are outraged that the society is damaging and compromising the heritage of Newport, and its future.

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