Renowned anglophile James J. Van Alen, who graduated from Oxford University and was a leader in New York society, commissioned British architect Charles Eamer Kempe to design Wakehurst as a replica of an Elizabethan manor house in Sussex, England. Local architect Dudley Newton managed the construction and design of Wakehurst with Kempe's plans and off-site guidance. The mansion was completed in 1887.
The property features formal gardens and grounds, created by landscape designer Ernest Bowditch, that reflect the style of an English country estate. Margaret "Daisy" Van Alen Bruguiere, wife of James Laurens Van Alen, owned the home until Salve Regina University acquired the property in 1972.
Wakehurst is now a center for student activities, and also houses classrooms and faculty offices.
Archival photographs for the following properties:
Sources: "Newport through its architecture" by James L. Yarnall, and Campus buildings of Salve Regina University
A storied London Plane tree can be found on the former estate grounds of Wakehurst.
The Munroe Center, built in 1888 and conceptualized by Charles Eamer Kempe, served as the stables for the Wakehurst estate. This rusticated stone carriage house echoes the Gothic lines and English manor style of the estate's primary structure. The university acquired the building in 1972 and named it for university trustees and benefactors Martin and Rita Munroe.
Source: Campus buildings of Salve Regina University
Wakehurst is one of the buildings showcased in the Newport Postcard Collection in the digital collection. This collection contains images of 19th and 20th century postcards showing scenes from Newport, Rhode Island, and neighboring towns. These images were provided by Daniel P. Titus from his personal collection.