Newport’s New Gilded Age


Melanie Delman (president of Lila Delman Real Estate International) is at the helm of the Rhode Island–based firm that covers this spectacular state, with six offices that stretch from the capital to the storied coastline. She has ingratiated her clients as they become members of their communities—a narrative that resembles the Gilded Age. To that end, she has introduced “Lila’s Lifestyle,” which serves as an introduction to the scene: an effort to assist her clients based on their interests and lifestyles.

Lila Delman Real Estate International’s stable of properties—which is as broad as it is rich—includes “Ocean Lawn” at 51 Cliff Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. It is, ultimately, a property that perfectly fits the description of a wonderful American lifestyle: it has great history as well as the flexibility to accommodate a great family compound.

It is sited on 6.7 acres of glorious grounds with 515 feet of frontage on the Atlantic Ocean. Legendary Boston firm Peabody & Stearns constructed the brick manor house with a “Queen Anne” exterior and graceful, well-proportioned rooms in 1889.

Betty Parke Firestone and her husband, Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., moved to “Ocean Lawn” in the 1950s. Betty was known as one of the best-dressed women in America. At Ocean Lawn, she perfected the art of living well. Windows were fitted with handmade shutters; drapes were made by Scalamandré; and even the entry gates and lights were custom-made in France.

On either side of the entry hall is a “his and hers” library. (His is a masculine retreat in mellow oak. Hers is an elegant enclave of 18th-century English pine.) Facing the Atlantic Ocean are the ocean salon and dining room, plus a spacious sunroom for more casual entertaining. A luxurious master suite (plus six other master bedrooms with private baths) can be reached via a gracious, six-foot-wide staircase.

Outside, beyond the awning-covered terrace, are acres of lawn featuring a pool. Spectacular views of the ocean abound. Entrances on three avenues allow for easy access to the many sporting, cultural, and social pleasures of Newport.

For more information, contact Melanie Delman at 401.284.4820 or