Details released for Hall of Fame Museum in Newport

Published on July 23rd, 2018

The Newport City Council will vote July 25 on whether to approve the sale of most of the Armory on Thames Street to the National Sailing Hall of Fame for a price of $1.685 million, according to a purchase-and-sales agreement now released (click here).

The main floor of the Armory at 365 Thames St. and the second floor would be transferred to the Sailing Hall of Fame as “Condominium Unit B” and added to the property tax rolls of the city, the agreement states. The Hall of Fame would use the space as a not-for-profit museum.

The city would retain ownership of the Newport Maritime Center in the basement, which is level with the beach area in the back.

“I would recommend that the beach area be dedicated for the use of the public-at-large in much the same way as varied city parks have been dedicated to be used in perpetuity for the public,” wrote City Manager Joseph J. Nicholson Jr. in a memorandum to the council members recommending approval of the agreement.

The city would retain clear ownership of the Ann Street Pier at the Armory, which is on a separate lot, as well as the adjacent Ann Street right-of-way.

A survey of the building was conducted last year and the roof requires about $300,000 in upgrades, Gary Jobson, board president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, has told council members.

“The unit being sold is in an ‘as is’ condition with no representation of warranties from the Seller as to its condition and the Buyer shall take the unit in its then ‘as is’ condition with all the deficiencies and defects,” according to the purchase-and-sales agreement.

People in the public have been concerned that the public restrooms accessible from Thames Street would be lost.

But the agreement requires the Sailing Hall of Fame to keep the restrooms accessible to the public, “as they are now.”

“The Buyer agrees that the Buyer will not make any changes, improvements or alterations to the exterior of the Armory building without the written approval of the state Historical Preservation Officer …,” the agreement states.



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