The Sea Girt House

Date: July 27, 1855
Location: Rochester, New York


The Newport News thus notices the enterprise of our colored brother, Mr. Geo. T. Downing:

THE SEA-GIRTHOUSE, NEWPORT, R.I. The above spacious and elegant hotel, recently erected in this city under the direction of Thomas Downing, of New York, (who has exhibited much judgement in planning the same,) was opened by his son, George T. Downing, to the inspection of the public, on Thursday evening last, at which time a large number of ladies and gentlemen spent several hours in inspecting its beautiful apartments, and testing the quality of the creams and ices, for which the proprietor has won a world-wide reputation. The house is delightfully situated on the Hill, and directly opposite the new “Touro Park,” and in the immediate vicinity of the large and fashionable hotels. The view form the roof is one of the finest and most extensive in Newport; the entire bay and adjacent islands and rivers being spread out in one grand panorama. Its exterior is highly ornamented, and presents an exceedingly tasteful appearance. Indeed no expense has been spared, either in the external or internal arrangements to render this establishment all that is required in a first class fashionable hotel.

The entire front of the house is capable of being thrown into one spacious saloon, unfolding the connecting odors, and is beautifully furnished with rich Brussels carpeting. The chairs are of rosewood, covered with heavy satin brocade. Expensive lace curtains descend from the ceiling and window cornices. The private parlors are commodious, and open into pleasant, airy bedrooms attached. In the upper stories are large, well-ventilated lodging-rooms.

The arraignments as to board will be as parties may desire, either in private dining rooms or table d'hote . In the lower story in a sitting-room for gentlemen, and two spacious stores for the sale of light and fanciful merchandise, and the ice cream and refreshment saloon, the walls of which are hung with paper hanging of a new design. The front bazaar is separated by a rich lace curtain from the ladies' saloon in the rear. It is the intention of the proprietor to keep constantly on hand as varied and extensive as assortment of cakes, confectionery, &c., as can be procured in similar establishments in New York or Boston, he having employed the most experienced assistants, French and English, and being possessed of the most ample facilities for preparing the most elaborate dishes. Families can always be supplied with dinners at brief notice, and game of all kinds, together with New York oysters, can be procured as above.

In erecting this hotel, Mr. Downing has supplied a long-needed establishment in this increasingly popular watering place, and we are confident he will be amply repaid for his enterprise and heavy outlay of capital, his name being familiar with the visitors at Newport, as a popular and successful caterer.