Waves of Raves for Ocean House

Published on July 12th, 2010

Reviews are rolling in for the new Ocean House, the reborn 19th century icon that sits grandly atop the dunes of Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Torn down in 2005, the resort hotel – with 49 rooms and 23 private residences, all with spectacular ocean views – has risen again, reopening in May.

Centerbrook, with Partner Jefferson Riley in charge, designed the new structure based on the early 20th century architectural core of the shoreline landmark, while adding some modern strivings and myriad amenities.

The editorial page of the Providence Journal singled out the owners, the contractor, and Centerbrook.

Architect, professor, and critic Michael Crosbie wrote in the Hartford Courant about what the project represented in terms of a new twist on preservation.

A glowing review by critic David Brussat was carried by ArchNewsNow.com, an e-mail service that aggregates architectural articles from various sources nationwide.

Ted Sanderson, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, praised Centerbrook for making “an extraordinary effort to design and detail a high quality project that duplicates the architectural character and detail of the protected portions of the historic original, while incorporating modern functional requirements.”

Perhaps the most important review came from Chaplin B. Barnes, executive director of the Watch Hill Conservancy, who was quoted in the July/August issue of Design New England: “I think it fits in superbly. It gives the community a sense of a grand hotel, which is what the Ocean House was.”