Improve your experience. We are very sorry but this website does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend using a different browser that is supported such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Architecture of the American Summer (4:30PM TOUR): Evolution of the Shingle Style


Few styles were as short-lived in their original implementation, but as long-lived in their evolution as the Shingle Style, a term coined by Yale Professor Vincent Scully, who co-authored “The Architectural Heritage of Newport” with Antoinette Downing. Although Professor Scully grew up and taught in New Haven, he had a strong interest in the architectural treasury and history of Newport and wrote his doctoral thesis on that subject.

 The Shingle Style was an innovation and evolution of the Queen Anne Revival Style—ideally suited to the large amount of cedar and wood present in the United States. Its flexibility and functionality did not have the high degree of formality and symmetry found in classical styles. The exteriors of these buildings were created in an almost painterly manner using different shingle patterns. As the formal, classically inspired revival styles faded with the Great Depression and increases in income taxes transformed the economics of building, the Shingle Style had a great revival, particularly in the resort communities of New England. Scully aptly described the Shingle Style as “the architecture of the American summer.”

 The first session will be an in-class historical overview of the original flowering of the Shingle Style in 1880 in Newport and other seaside communities. The second class will be a walking tour of the Newport Casino, the Isaac Bell House and other Shingle Style buildings from the 19th century, along with more recent examples. The third class will return to the lecture room to investigate how the Shingle Style has changed through the Modern and Post-Modern periods and how it continues to evolve.

Classroom Lectures 

Dates: May 9, 23    

Time: 5 - 6:30 p.m. 

Location: DiStefano Lecture Hall

Antone Academic Center, Room 128

Walking Tour in Newport 

Date: May 16           

Times: 4:30 - 5:45 p.m.

Location and Parking: TBA on May 9

Instructor Biography

Ross Cann, RA, AIA, LEED AP, is an author, historian, teacher and practicing architect living and working in Newport, R.I. He holds degrees in architecture and architectural history from Yale, Cambridge and Columbia universities. He studied with Vincent Scully at Yale and while at Columbia, he was the teaching assistant for Robert A.M. Stern, who is one of the most noted Shingle Style architects in America in the present day. He is the founding and managing principal of A4 Architecture in Newport.

Press enter to see more results