Architecture ~ John Banister House ~ Newport

John Banister House
56 Pelham St.
Newport, Rhode Island

John Banister was a wealthy property owner in colonial Newport, who built a house for him and his growing family on Pelham St. circa 1751.
(all photos courtesy Lila Delman Real Estate)


This is the same John Ban(n)ister after whom Bannister's Wharf is named. He owned the wharf during the 1740s.



John was born in Boston in 1707 to a merchant father, and moved to Newport. He was heavily involved in trade with Europe, the West Indies and the Colonies, importing luxury goods, as well as enslaved people. He married Hermione Pelham (no coincidence to the name of the street where he built his house). Hermione was a granddaughter of Colonial Governor Benedict Arnold, and related to Anne Boleyn. The property originally extended to include the Newport Tower.

During the Revolutionary War, the house was used as headquarters by English General Prescott. John left the house to his son, also named John, though by the time of his death in 1767, he had  retired to Middletown.


Since then, the house has been used as a private residence, apartments, and as an inn.

But the house still stands where it was built, an it's a beautiful example.

The fireplace in the main room is amazing, and the wide-planked hardwood floors are all through the house.

Here's another fireplace. Sure it needs cleaning, but isn't it awesome?



Here's the entryway, with all that great paneling and the fan window above the door.

This bedroom shows off real interior shutters and multipane windows.
The two kitchens show where the house was once used as apartments. All told, there are nine bedroom and 9.5 baths, plus common rooms.
The attic, which likely housed servants at one time, also has a fireplace.

The house is for sale through Lila Delman, and I want to thank them for the use of these photos. It's a real treat to get to see the inside of these historic properties. There's more information about the house on their site as well.

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