credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel

DEM Invites Public to Celebrate 150 Years of the Eisenhower House at Special Holiday Events

This holiday season, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management invites the public to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Eisenhower House at Fort Adams State Park in Newport by attending special events being held throughout December, including weekly self-guided tours and pictures with Santa. It’s the perfect chance to visit this historic and beautiful house to learn about its history, check out the holiday decorations, and view the grounds of the event space.

Built in 1873, the historic Eisenhower House was once the “Summer White House” of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Acquired by the State of Rhode Island in 1963, this stately mansion commands breathtaking views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. Today this beautiful property serves as an event space that specializes in weddings, rehearsal dinners, and corporate functions. A witness to 150 years of American history, its beautifully designed rooms and an outdoor area that is perfect for a breathtaking ceremony. With ample parking and rolling lawns, Eisenhower House can provide the ideal location for hosting your next event!

Holiday House Tours:

Join in a free, self-guided tour of the historic Eisenhower House from 10 AM – 2 PM every Saturday in December.

Visit Santa at Ike’s:

On Friday, Dec. 15, from 4-7 PM, Santa will be in residence and is eagerly waiting to receive wish lists and help provide a perfect chance for you to capture a festive photo. Please note that while Santa will be at the house for a photo opportunity, a photographer will not be provided, and all visitors must take their own pictures. This event is FREE, but registration is required.

From its perch above Narragansett Bay, Eisenhower House has witnessed 150 years of history. The house was erected in 1873 as the commandant’s residence at Fort Adams, an important citadel that was built to protect Narragansett Bay and Newport Harbor from naval invasion. Newport architects George C. Mason and Son designed a substantial house outside the walls of the fort, and General Henry Jackson Hunt was the first in a long line of military officers to live here. In 1958 and again in 1960, the commandant’s residence welcomed its most famous occupant, President Eisenhower, who spent his first summer in Newport in September 1957 while residing at the Naval War College. Eager to return, he settled into the “Summer White House” at the commandant’s residence at Fort Adams in August 1958. President Eisenhower insisted that the demands on a President were no different during his summers in Newport, despite the “change of scenery.” He said, “The White House office is wherever the President may happen to be.” The United States Navy transferred Fort Adams and Eisenhower House to the State of Rhode Island in 1965 for use as a state park. Today, Eisenhower House is a historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the property is the scene of many public and social events.




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