History of the Mill Street Inn
The Mill Street Inn is located in the heart of Newport's Historic Hill
neighborhood at 75 Mill Street, Newport, RI. This Newport hotel is listed on
the National Register of Historic Places.
The Inn sits on a foundation that dates back to the early 1800's. The
original building, a large woodworking shop that supported the gilded age
building industry, belonged to renowned Newport builder, J.D. Johnston.
Johnston built many of the mansions on Newport's fabled Ocean Drive and
Bellevue Avenue. He worked with the most distinguished architects of the day
including Frederick Law Olmstead and William Hunt. The Newport Historical
Society maintains a collection of drawings and photographs of Johnston's work,
which were found deep in the building and donated by the mill's current
In 1890, the building was destroyed by fire and Johnston rebuilt it using
brick. The reconstructed mill was powered by a steam boiler in the basement.
All of the machinery in the building was connected to this power source by
leather belts, which ran through holes in the floors. Pictures of this
operation can be seen in the Inn's breakfast room. The building was used for
millwork until the early 1980's when it was purchased by the current owners and
converted into an all-suite hotel. The renovation project earned an American
Institute of Architects Design Award for the sensitive Adaptive Reuse of this
In 2007, the hotel underwent an extensive renovation of its 23 guest rooms
which solidified its reputation as a premier luxury property. The emphasis was
on using green technologies, such as low flow plumbing and energy efficient
lighting while also providing modern luxury and design while retaining the
building's historic charm.
In 2008, the Mill Street Inn was invited to join the prestigious "Small
Luxury Hotels of the World" Collection and became a member of the "Green"