Historic Equestrian/Recreational Development Opportunity
A beautiful 11-acre complex of historical buildings with surrounding pastures and open space. The Town of Portsmouth, RI desires to develop this recreational complex with a private partner.
The current site is used as an equestrian center but has the potential for mixed or other uses. The beautiful early 20th century stone barns have exceptional potential that can support many recreational visions.
The town desires to lease the property and provide support in the way of maintenance and grant funding:
More info at: www.PortsmouthRI.com; 401-643-0382
The following is copied from the published RFP:
Goal of this RFP
The Town of Portsmouth (the “Town”) desires to develop and operate its Lower Glen Farm complex to provide continued public access, resource maintenance and protection and use of the complex to maximize the recreational opportunities. The town-owned property is currently under lease until May 31, 2017 and the Town desires to consider unique and innovative ways to best use this property when the current lease expires. Although the current use of the complex is for equestrian activities, other, innovative, uses for the property can be proposed so long as they satisfy the objectives specified below.
Objectives of this RFP
- Provide funding source for Town operations, primarily recreation activities at Lower Glen Farm Complex.
- Continue to use the Town-owned property as, primarily, a recreational complex (although the current use is for equestrian activities, other uses, including mixed uses, will be considered).
- Ensure adequate staffing to maximize use and protection of facilities
- Ensure the safety and convenience for the users of the complex
- Protect the natural and cultural resources of the complex.
- Establish and maintain a long-term relationship with the Town with continued Town ownership of the property with public access and use.
- Stabilize and improve the conditions of the property.
Portsmouth’s Lower Glen Farm consists of a grouping of historic buildings, on 11 acres of property that represents a unique and relatively intact example of early 20th century barns, stables and outbuildings (See Appendix A). These handsome buildings reflect an important era in Portsmouth’s recent past, where agriculture was the anchor of its base economy and the practice of maintaining a country estate by figures of the “Gilded Age” was in vogue. The property is adjacent to several other areas that are being maintained by the Town as open recreation space. These include 120 acres of public land that includes the Gardner Seveney Sports Complex (that also hosts the Newport International Polo Enterprise), the Glen Park recreation area and the Glen Manor House and its adjacent land that is planned for a public park overlooking the Sakonnet River. These areas include hiking and riding trails and also access to the Sakonnet Greenway that is being developed in conjunction with the Aquidneck Island Land Trust to provide a contiguous public access hiking and a riding area from south to north on Aquidneck Island.
An adjacent property, the Phelps House, is also owned by the Town. The two story colonial home was built in 1915. The Town has a plan, in partnership with the historic preservation organization Preserve Rhode Island, to make the home habitable and potentially use it as a Bed & Breakfast. The Town would consider use of this property in conjunction with the Lower Glen Farm.
The property is in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, which is the northern most part of Aquidneck Island. Other communities on the island are Middletown, RI and Newport, RI. Portsmouth is located 70 miles south of Boston and 210 miles east of New York City.
The property is currently under a lease for operation that is mainly equestrian in nature with stables, an indoor equestrian exhibition ring and grazing pastures. The following buildings comprise the complex (photos in Appendix B):
- Building #4 Frame Cow Barn
- Building #6 Frame Horse Barn
- Building #7 Stone Horse Barn
- Building #8 Stone Cow Barn
- Building #9 Stone Bull Barn
- Building #10 Indoor Riding Arena
- Building #2 Stone Garage
- Buildings #3A and 3B Framed Tool House and Wagon Shed
- Building #11 Stone Pump House
Building #4: Cow Barn
This building, also called the “Program Barn” is a 40 ft X 100 ft 2.5 story gambrel roof, wood framed building with a floor area of approximately 4000 sq. ft with loft space above. This barn has stalls for 14 horses. It was built circa pre-1902. Aligned on a north-south axis, this wood shingled barn has a heavy cornice molding and sits on a rubblestone foundation. At its south gable end, there is a hay door over a wide barn door, flanked by two dormers, which incorporate hay doors. The roof is capped by two cupola ventilators, similar in design to those found on other barns in the complex.
Building #6: Polo Barn.
Built in 1902, this is a 34 X 116 ft. two story wood-frame structure that has a floor area of 3,944 sq. ft. with aloft area above and a partial basement. Its stable area has 18 horse stalls. Similar in form to Building #4, this barn is 13 bays long and has barn doors at either end. At its southern end, the building sits on a high rubblestone foundation because of the sloping grade. It has the same gambrel roof configuration with ventilation cupolas and two gabled dormers on each side of the roof.
Building #7: Main Barn
This is a 2.5 story building that measures 42 ft. X 124 ft. It has a floor area of 5,208 sq. ft. and accommodates 18 horse stalls. Built in 1911 and one of the three stone barns on the property, its building form is similar in character to the other two barns. Construction is a combination of rough-cut irregularly coursed ashar and rubblestone. It has a gambrel roof with ATM-2 Type shingles. The roof, with its heavy cornice molding, ventilator cupolas and gable wall dormers with hay doors is similar to the other barns in the complex. The first and second floors have doors flanked by windows. Doors and windows have granite sills and lintels and are trimmed with crenellated brick surround. The south gable end has a hay door at the roof peak, while the north end has a chimney and a dormer. On the building’s west façade, there is a door that leads directly from the horse stalls directly into the attached paddock. At the north end of the building, there is a second floor apartment with access gained by a set of exterior wooden stairs. An oil-fired boiler, to heat the apartment, is located on the ground floor and adjacent to the tack room.
Building #8: The Dairy Barn
Built in 1907, the Dairy Barn is a 2.5 story stone building. Its 5,124 sq, ft. first floor contains an office and storage area, a Tack Room and stalls for 18 horses. The first floor measures 42 X 122 ft. and there is a two-bedroom apartment located on the second floor at the south ends of the building. The remainder of the loft area is used for storage. There is a partial basement with a coffered ceiling of concrete supported steel beams. At the north end of the building, there is a stone silo connected to the barn with a stone passageway. The silo is capped by a band of windows located under the eaves of its conical roof. In addition, there is a wooden feed silo just south of the stone one. Galvanized metal ventilators are used to ventilate the stables below. Masonry walls form the ground floor with brick lining the interiors and rough-cut rubblestone facing the exterior. Windows and door openings are trimmed with brick along with granite lintels and sills.
Building #9: Co-Op Barn
Also known as the Bull Barn, it is attached at right angles to Building #8 by a porte cochere. Built is 1910, it a similar style to the other stone barns. A 2.5 story 38 X 92 ft. building, it has a first floor area of 3,496 sq. ft. There are ten horse stalls in the barn. On the exterior, a series of fenced bull paddocks with concrete posts and steel rails are located along the barn’s southern face. The barn has a gambrel roof with a pair of cupola ventilators. Entrance to the barn is gained from under the porte cochere on the west side of the building or from the north or south facades, which are defined by gabled walls dormers over segmented arched doorways. At the east end, a hay door is located in the roof peak. On the first and second floors, there is a doorway flanked by windows. On the south façade, a series of doors open directly to the bull pen area.
Building #10 Riding Arena
This is a single-story, wood-frame building of approximately 17,280 sq. ft.. The building is completely open for riding horses, except for a 1,280 sq. ft. viewing area. The interior finish is wood.
Building #2: The Garage
Similar in design to the Pump House (Building #11 below), this building is a one-story, two-bay cobblestone garage with a gable on him roof and a triangular eyebrow clerestory. The windows have segmented arches. The building measures 28 X 33 ft. with a total area of 924 sq. ft and was built in various stages circa 1907 to 1926.
Building #3A: Tool House
Built circa 1895-1907, this one-story structure is the smaller of two wood-framed out-buildings that form the eastern boundary of the complex and abut Glen Farm road. It measures 18 X 52 ft. for a total area of 936 sq. ft.. It is located perpendicular to Building #3B that parallels Glen Farm Road.
Building #3: The Wagon Shed
Built circa 1897-1907, this building measures 25 X 138 ft. for a total area of 3,459 sq. ft. the one-story wood-framed shingled building sits on a rubblestone foundations. It has a gable-style roof. It has eight sliding barn doors on its west side.
Building #11: Pump House
Built and modified in various stages circa 1907-1926, it is a one-story masonry structure that serves as the pump house for the complex. The building originally housed the machinery required to pump the water from the adjacent cistern to supply the farm’s water system. It measures 26 X 64 ft. with an area of 1,664 sq. ft.
Point of Contact
Richard W. Talipsky
Portsmouth Director of Business Development
Phone: (401) 643-0382
FAX (401) 683-6804
2200 East Main Road
PORTSMOUTH RI 02871