The Newport Historical Society is preparing to launch a web-based mobile app designed to help visitors take an annotated walk around the City’s historic streets—whether exploring by foot or surfing from their sofa. The Society has partnered with Lila Delman Real Estate, which is the Founding Sponsor of the app. Lila Delman Real Estate has been honored with preservation awards for the restoration of its Newport and Narragansett offices.
“As dedicated supporters of historic preservation, Lila Delman Real Estate is a natural partner in this project. We are delighted that through this technology Newport and its rich history will be even more readily recognized and available,” states Melanie Delman, President of Lila Delman Real Estate.
Entitled “Explore Historic Newport”, the app will work on any platform that accesses the web, such as a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer, and will be free. “We have spent this spring researching the history and choosing which sites to incorporate into the first phase of ‘Explore Historic Newport,’” states NHS Processing Archivist Stacie Parillo.
“Explore Historic Newport” will include Washington Square up to Bellevue Avenue, Catherine-Kay Streets and down to the waterfront of Long Wharf and the Point neighborhood. Users can learn about diverse sites such as the 1699 Great Friends Meeting House, the mid 18th century house where Ezra Stiles once lived and the early 20th century ballpark Cardine’s Field. Ultimately, it is expected that the mobile guide will encompass the entire City.
“Unlike a traditional walking tour that follows a designated route, mobile users do not need to walk in any particular order,” Parillo explains. “The app uses GPS-enabled interactive maps. It pinpoints where a user is standing and orients them to historic sites nearby. It’s like a historical guidebook with pictures from the NHS collections that show how exciting Newport history really is.”
To offset additional development costs, the Society is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 in 45 days. Pledges range from $10 to $1,000 and include gifts at each level.
Donations can be made at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nhs/explore-historic-newport.