The mission of The Preservation Society of Newport County is to protect, preserve, and present an exceptional collection of house museums and landscapes in one of the most historically intact cities in America. Champlin Foundation grants of $2.5 million since 1993 have supported the exterior restoration of seven buildings, installation of five new roofs, three garden restorations, and three new HVAC systems. Recent Champlin investments at our flagship property, The Breakers, include a geothermal climate control system, which is helping to preserve the collections and delicate interior finishes of this iconic Gilded Age mansion while significantly saving on energy; and the new, state-of-the-art Welcome Center, which is helping us to better serve the more than 475,000 visitors from all 50 states and 114 foreign countries who visit this National Historic Landmark each year.
By supporting the restoration and maintenance of our properties, Champlin funding contributes directly to the fiscal health of Rhode Island. The Breakers and our other nine historic houses open to the public are key drivers of local heritage tourism. In 2016, the Preservation Society was the first museum in New England outside Boston to surpass one million tours in a single year. We did it again in 2017, and in 2018 we set an all-time record with 1,022,277 tours. Studies demonstrate that our economic impact on the community is in excess of $109 million annually and our impact on Rhode Island’s economy far exceeds $136 million. Working together with The Champlin Foundation, we will continue to protect and preserve Newport’s vital historic assets, which contribute significantly to Rhode Island’s fiscal resiliency, unique sense of place, and community pride.