Libraries & Archives

Guide to Newport Community Organizations Materials in the Ade Bethune Papers

This collection contains materials relating to the activities and projects of various Newport, RI community organizations as collected by one community member, Ade Bethune. It is mostly made up of organizational documents, correspondence, project reports, newsletters, and road maps and sketches. Community groups of note include: the Point Association, East-West Point Committee, Citizens Advisory Committee, and the Foundation for Newport. Road projects in Newport and Aquidneck Island with which they were involved include the Circulator Road, Memorial Boulevard Extension/the Connector and I-895/Jamestown Bridge. Other community projects undertaken by Bethune and the community groups include: development in the Broadway-West Broadway-Washington Square area, the Newport Harborfront Plan, and a history of Newport project.


Creator: Bethune, Ade, 1914-2002
Title: Newport Community Organizations, Ade Bethune Papers Dates: 1958-2001
Quantity: 7.0 Linear feet (16.5 boxes) plus 3.5 cubic feet of oversized materials (3 boxs and 2 flat file drawers)

Language: English
Repository: Ade Bethune Collection, St. Catherine University Library

Preferred Citation: Newport Community Organizations Materials, Ade Bethune Papers. Ade Bethune Collection. St. Catherine University Library, St. Paul, MN 55105.


About Ade Bethune

Adélaïde de Bethune (1914-2002), known as Ade Bethune, was born in Brussels, Belgium. She and her family immigrated to the United States and settled in New York in 1928. Here, she attended Cathedral High School, the National Academy of Design, and Cooper Union. Newport, Rhode Island became her permanent home in 1938. She purchased a house in Newport's Point neighborhood in 1953 and remained a resident of the Point until her death in 2002.

While she is primarily known for her work as a liturgical artist and architect, Bethune's experiences with the Catholic Worker movement, beginning in the 1930s, helped shape her social justice beliefs and develop skills in public speaking and writing. These experiences carried over into her social action activities with the many local organizations she supported later in life. Her interest and participation in Newport community groups and activities took root in the middle of the twentieth century, as witnessed by her collection of Point Association newsletters dating from the 1950’s.

The artistic and architectural skills Ade Bethune gained in her professional life were translated into her activities with many different organizations in Newport. Beginning in the 1960s Ade Bethune became involved with several community organizations and their work related to redevelopment projects. She drafted road and building plans and developed proposals in response to each groups’ support of or opposition to projects proposed by the public sector. Redevelopment plans for places such as the Broadway-West Broadway-Washington Square area also intersected with activities of other groups with which Bethune was involved, such as the Church Community Housing Corporation.

Ade Bethune's work with these organizations began in the late 1950s with membership in the Point Association. Over the course of her involvement with the association, Bethune served as a member of the Board and also as the chair of the Traffic Committee and the Circulation Committee. For a period in the late 1960s and early 1970s she was chairman of the East-West Point Committee, created in response to a proposed highway project that would divide the Point neighborhood. From 1989 to 1991, Bethune worked on the Citizens Advisory Committee of Newport to help in drafting a Comprehensive Land Use Plan under the authority of the Newport City Council. Following final development of the plan, a new group, the Foundation For Newport, was formed to help implement recommendations the plan had outlined. Bethune was on the steering committee of the Foundation For Newport as it started to organize in 1992 and remained on the committee until her death in 2002.

During this 45 year period, Ade Bethune was also a member of, worked with, or followed a number of other public and private civic groups operating in and around Newport including: the Point Neighborhood Association, the Commission on Affordable Housing, South End Association, Friends of the Waterfront, Save the Bay, and others.


Contents

Materials document the activities of several community organizations in and around Newport, Rhode Island during the period 1958 to 2001. While not a complete record of each organization’s activities, this collection represents materials created and/or utilized by one community member, Ade Bethune, during her active participation in these organizations. The collection also includes materials from other community organizations which Bethune may not have actively participated in, but followed with interest.

The collection includes organizational administrative documents, correspondence, project reports, newsletters, newspaper articles and clippings, photographs, sketches, and road maps that were created to support and communicate the activities of the organizations. The bulk of the collection is comprised of materials from the Point Association, East-West Point Committee, Inc., Citizens Advisory Committee, and the Foundation For Newport.

Most of the materials in the Point Association and the East-West Point Committee series relate to each groups’ opposition to or support for road and highway proposals for the Newport area developed by the R.I. Department of Transportation. Additional materials detailing the road project proposals and related community activism may be found in the Foundation For Newport and Other Organizations and Projects series. Other materials in the Foundation For Newport series relate to the creation of a plan for the Newport harbor front. The materials in the Citizens Advisory Committee series were largely created during the development of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Newport, R.I.

The Other Organizations and Projects series is comprised of materials from a number of community groups, projects and events. Materials are varied and items of note include the I-895 road project, the Commission on Affordable Housing, Broadway-West Broadway-Washington Square area development, the Point Section Neighborhood Improvement Committee, and Newport redevelopment. Many of the materials in the Newport Community Organization collection are scale drawings of road and development plans and oversized photos and clippings. Oversized materials that are not definitively a part of a particular subgroup are housed in the Other Oversize Materials series.


Organization

The collection is arranged in 6 groups.

Series 1: Point Association
1.1 — General
1.2 — Circulator Road
1.3 — History and Archives Project
1.4 — Green Light Bulletin
Series 2: East-West Point Committee
Series 3: Citizens Advisory Committee
Series 4: Foundation For Newport
Series 5: Other Organizations and Projects
Series 6: Other Oversize Materials


Administration

Publication Information

St. Catherine University Library May 2007
2004 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN, 55105
651-690-6599
bethune@stkate.edu

Acquisition

Ade Bethune donated her personal and business papers, sketches, artwork, books, and artifacts to the College of St Catherine (now St. Catherine University) over the period from 1984-2002.

Processing Information Note

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Melissa Smith and Louann Terveer, January 2011-April 2011.


Selected Search Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Citizens Advisory Committee.
  • East-West Point Committee (Newport, R.I.).
  • Foundation for Newport.
  • Point Association of Newport.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Rhode Island -- Newport

Subject(s)

  • Citizens' associations
  • Community development
  • Urban renewal

Detailed Description

Box

Newport Community Organization Directories : 1994-2000
Contact list for the following groups: Foundation for Newport, Star of the Sea, Minibus, Mumford Housing Corp., Point Association and Church Community Housing Corporation. Coalition of Newport Grassroot Organizations Directory (2000).

1

Series 1: Point Association

1958-2002 (Bulk, 1986-1989)
4.25 boxes

About the Point Association
The Point Association was founded in 1955 and served as a community group for the Point section of Newport where Ade Bethune lived. It published a newsletter, the Green Light Bulletin, with 4-6 issues per year from 1958-2001. Two Point Association activities were planning and fundraising for the creation of Storer Park between 1966 and 1972, and formation of a “History and Archives Project” Committee to help gather, organize, and preserve historical materials of the Point area and of the Point Association.

Other activities of the Point Association involved opposition to a proposed “Circulator Road” project between 1986 and 1988. This road proposal was viewed as a re-design of a failed Connector Road project proposal by the R.I. DOT. The main characteristic of the project that was opposed by the community members included the widening of America’s Cup Avenue and Memorial Boulevard into a four-lane, limited access highway. Point Association members as well as other community group members opposed the road plan because they felt the road development would create a division in the city and would “adversely affect the character and beauty of the City and the safety and convenience of the full-time residents.” The Newport City Council rejected the DOT plan in 1988.

Contents:
This series documents the activities of the Point Association of Newport, R.I. as collected by one of its members, Ade Bethune. The materials primarily relate to the workings of the board and to special projects, especially the Circulator Road proposal and the History and Archives Project. Most of the materials are from 1986-1989, the time-span of the Circulator Road Proposal. Some of the materials are older and were gathered as historical materials for the History and Archives project. There are also copies of the Green Light Bulletin, from 1958-2002.

Organization:
Point Association materials are grouped into 4 sections.
1.1 -- General
1.2 -- Circulator Road
1.3 -- History and Archives Project
1.4 -- Green Light Bulletin

The first 3 sections are arranged alphabetically; the last is in reverse chronological order.

Related materials may be found in Series 4: Foundation For Newport.

1.1 -- General

1966-1998 (Bulk, 1987-1994)
1 box

Contents:
This group contains correspondence and documents primarily related to the workings of the Point Association Board of Directors.

Box

Bills : 1989

1

Board Meetings : 1987-1998 (Bulk, 1993-1994) : 4 folders

1

By-Laws : 1987

1

Candidates' Comments : 1987-1989 : 2 folders

1, 18

Correspondence : 1987-1988

1

Minutes & Attendance : 1987-1990

1

Note Paper : undated

1

Notes: To Be Done : 1987-1988

1

Photos : 1987

1

RIDOT [Rhode Island Department of Transportation] - Ferguson : 1997

1

Storer Park : 1966-1972
Includes newspaper articles, drawings, and Point Association recommendation for the Storer Park project.

1

Swamp Association : 1987

1

Traffic Committee Members : 1987

1

Traffic Requests : 1989
Correspondence to Newport City Mayor, Robert J. McKenna.

1

West Side Association : 1987

1

1.2 -- Circulator Road

1985-1989
1/2 box

Contents:
Mostly documents, correspondence, newspaper articles, and copies of road maps related to the DOT Circulator Road proposal.

Box

Clippings : 1986-1989
Newspaper clippings regarding Middletown road projects and Circulator Road proposal.

1

DOT Advisory Committee : 1987
Public comment on the Circulator Road Project.

1

DOT Workshop : 1987

1

Maps : 1987 : 5 folders plus 20 oversized sheets of plans

2, 18, 20

Newport Circulator Rd. -- Brenda Gordon : 1985-1988

2

Petitions : 1987 : 4 folders

2

Publicity Circulator Road : 1987

2

1.3 -- History and Archives Project

1960-2001
1/2 box

Contents:
Contains copies of Point Association historical documents, historical drawings of the Newport area, and documents of the History and Archives Committee.

Box

Booklet : 1960-1963 : 2 folders
Includes hand-drawn maps of the Point area, publicity materials, cards with artwork of historic properties, and correspondence with the artist, Edith Ballinger Price.

2

Committee : 1995

2

Explosion -- 12-24-34 : 1993

18

General : 1962-1972

3, 18

Now and Then on the Point : 1980
Booklet is reprinted articles from the Green Light Bulletin.

3

Point Association : 2001
Correspondence

3

Point Dishes : 1969

3

1.4 -- Green Light Bulletin

1958-2002
28 folders

Box

1988-2002

3

1965-1987

4

1958-1964

5

Series 2: East-West Point Committee, Inc.

1958-1976 (Bulk, 1969-1973)
3 boxes; one rolled drawing and 1 1/2 flat file drawers

About the East-West Point Committee
The East-West Point Committee (EWPC) was a merger of east and west Point neighborhood groups and the Point Association. The group began meeting in 1969 and was incorporated in 1971. It was formed in response to plans by the Federal Department of Transportation to extend Highway 138 into and around Newport using the Newport Bridge, Memorial Boulevard, and other roads in Newport. This highway project was dubbed the Connector by the Department of Transportation. Areas of contention for the EWPC and Point residents were the extension of Memorial Boulevard, the work planned for Van Zandt Ave. to Marlboro Street and the relocation of railroad tracks to connect to a new spur. The EWPC and many others worked to reduce the number of individuals to be displaced and relocated by the track relocation, to slow roadway speeds in residential neighborhoods, increase pedestrian walkways crossing the new road, and assure that the East and West sides of the Point were not cut off from each other and the rest of Newport and Aquidneck Island. The road proposal was never fully implemented.

Contents:
The East-West Point Committee series contains committee administrative documents, research materials and proposals as collected and often produced by Ade Bethune, Chairman.

Administrative documentation includes meeting documents, correspondence and publicity. Official project maps and reports comprise much of the research materials collected. The proposals include drawings, maps and plans recommending alternatives to the original road project designs.

Organization:
The first part contains the contents of yearly notebooks Bethune created, ordered chronologically. The remaining files are arranged alphabetically.

File folders created and labeled by Bethune remain in her alphabetical order with her labels. Files created by Bethune, but not labeled have been given an appropriate label and placed within alphabetical order. Two file folders created during processing are noted. Oversize materials have been arranged and labeled as a part of processing.

Related materials may be found in Church Community Housing Corportation (CCHC): Housing Projects

Box

1969 : 2 folders
Administrative documents, reports, correspondence and clippings relating to the Memorial Blvd Extension project. Includes the Project Report from the State Director of Public Works.

5

1970
RIDOT brochure: Vote Approve 30-Million Dollar Highway Bond Referendum. Clippings and correspondence related to Memorial Blvd Extension and Connector (Route 138). Relocation Services report from the RIDOT.

5

1971 : 2 folders
Original incorporation document for East-West Point Committee, Inc. (1971) Correspondence, clippings and other documents related to the EWPC and the planned Memorial Blvd. Extension. Includes: Updated Housing Element report prepared by the Newport Planning Department. Bethune's handwritten notes are placed throughout the file. Copy of petition opposing road project is in file.

5-6

1972 : 2 folders
Documents including correspondence and notes re: EWPC and their opposition to the Memorial Blvd extension/highway as proposed. Included is information from the Urban League and other sources regarding relocation services for home owners displaced by the project. B&W photos highlighting flooded areas as streets to remain open after project. Land valuation report. Copy of EWPC Biennial Report of Non-Business Corporation.

6

1973
A number of clippings related to highway project including photo of demolition and removal of homes on Walnut street and Bridge Street. Some correspondence is from Church Community Corporation, but related to same issue: Memorial Boulevard Extension. Correspondence and clippings related to the Penn Central RR track are also in file.

6

Bank Statement : 1976

6

Clippings : 1973

17

Correspondence : 1968-1972

6

Duplicates : 1969
Clippings and correspondence

6

Memorial Boulevard Extension : 1966-1973
Maps

17

Material on: : 1969-1973
Correspondence to a variety of state and national officials; newspaper clippings and headlines related to the highway project.

6

Photos : 1972 : 2 folders

6-7

Redevelopment : 1965-1969
Correspondence, petition letters, notes, proposals on a variety of redevelopment projects

7

Relocation Survey : 1971-1972

17

Rhode Island Historic Preservation Commission -- Mr. Chase : 1980

7

Open Meeting : Undated

7

East-West Point Committee : 1969-1972 : 2 folders
This file was created from loose materials in Bethune's personal papers.

17

Research : 1958-1972 : 6 folders
Research materials are arranged chronologically.

7
Drawer Box

Oversize Materials -- EWPC Posters : 1973 : 3 folders

X 20

Oversize Materials -- Memorial Boulevard Extension : 1969-1973 : 2 folders

20

Oversize Materials -- Newport Road Maps : 1946-1967

20
Drawer

Oversize Materials -- Storer Park : 1966

X (4 sets)
Box

Oversize Materials -- Washington Square : UNDATED

19

Series 3: Citizens Advisory Committee

1972-1991 (Bulk, 1989-1991)
2.5 boxes

History of the Citizens Advisory Committee

The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) of Newport, RI was formed under the authority of the Newport City Council. It was created in response to the state Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act of 1988, which set a mandate for each Rhode Island municipality to develop a new comprehensive community plan. Approximately 50 residents of Newport were recruited by the city’s Planning Board to help in development of the plan. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Newport was finalized in 1991.

Contents:
This series documents the activities of the CAC related to development of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan as collected by one of its members, Ade Bethune. It also contains documents created through meetings of the Housing and Circulation Subcommittees for the plan.

Materials are mostly meeting minutes and agendas, correspondence, research materials, and copies and drafts of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Related materials may be found in Series 4: Foundation For Newport.

Box

General Committee : 1972-1991 (Bulk, 1989-1991) : 5 folders
Agendas and minutes; Also includes memos, by-laws, organizational goals, copies of laws and 1972 Newport Master Plan, draft housing reports, and results of a public opinion survey.

8

Circulation Subcommittee : 1977-1991 (Bulk, 1989-1991) : 2 folders

8

Housing Subcommittee : 1989-1990 : 2 folders

9

Comprehensive Land Use Plan : 1989-1991 : 4 folders
Includes copy of state guideline handbook, copies of plan drafts, and final plan.

9

Research Materials : 1982-1988 : 6 folders

10

Series 4: Foundation For Newport

1983-2002 (Bulk, 1992-2001)
2.25 boxes

History of the Foundation For Newport

Following the finalization of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan created by the Citizens Advisory Committee, the Foundation For Newport (FFN), also called the Newport Foundation, was founded. The group’s goals were to help develop the recommendations outlined in the Plan and to promote improvements that would enhance Newport’s quality of life. The FFN started to organize in 1992 and was incorporated in May of 1993. Members included Newport citizens from public, private, and business sectors.

The first major issues of focus for the FFN concerned traffic flow on America’s Cup Avenue and Lower Thames Street, and also the development of a waterfront plan. Traffic flow concerns were related to a 1992 R.I. DOT road project proposal similar in location to previous proposals. The FFN completed a Newport Harborfront Plan in 1997 with the help of the consulting firm WTG Planning & Design.

Contents:
This series documents activities of the FFN as collected by one of its Steering Committee members, Ade Bethune. A large portion is related to two issues: traffic on America’s Cup Avenue and Thames Street, and the development of the Newport Harborfront Plan with WTG, consultants.

Materials included are meeting minutes and agendas, correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, and research materials.

Related materials may be found in Series 1: Point Association, and Series 3: Citizens Advisory Committee.

Box

By-Laws : 1992

10

1992-1994 : 3 folders

10

1995-2002 : 4 folders

11

Bernhard, Hank : 1997
Memo and correspondence related to Newport's ISTEA Long Wharf Landing marine facilities project.

11

Department of Transportation (RI) Circulator Road : 1986-1989
Correspondence and project descriptions
Related oversized materials can be found in Box 19.

11

DOT : 1993-1997
Documents related to the RI DOT Thames Street and America's Cup Avenue road proposal. Includes correspondence, project descriptions, reports, and public response documents.

11

FOW [Friends of the Waterfront] : 1994
Newspaper articles and FOW newsletter regarding Newport tourism and traffic.

11

Newport Harborfront Plan : 1997-1998

12

Newport Marine Terminal : 1992

12

Nominating : 1991
Nominating committee research worksheet and journal article from Fund Raising Management.

12

Pedestrian : 1995
Original Ladies Home Journal article, "Walk at Your Own Risk"

12

Warner, Bill : 1983-1994 (Bulk, 1994)
Correspondence and research materials, including "Turning Back to The Water: A Grant Request for the Providence Waterfront"

12

WTG [Warner, Todd, & Gaffney] -- Warner : 1996
Newspaper articles and correspondence

17

WTG [Warner, Todd, & Gaffney] -- Westerly-Pawcatuck : 1993
Newport Harbor District Planning Strategy document and harbor plan research materials

12

Research Materials : 1984-2000 : 2 folders

12

Series 5: Other Organizations & Projects

1960-2001
4.25 Boxes and 1/2 flat file drawer

Contents:
This series contains materials collected by Ade Bethune over a forty year period beginning in 1960 relating to an assortment of development projects and community organizations. Community projects include: Broadway-West Broadway-Washington Square, “Old Newport” Village, Rose Island, Parkway Plans and I-895. Newport area organizations of interest to Bethune included: Affordable Housing Commission, Aquidneck Housing Co Operative and Aquidneck Island Coalition, Easton’s Beach & Pond Association, and the Point Section Neighborhood Improvement Committee.

Materials are organizational documents, correspondence, newspaper articles, drawings, maps, photographs, and research findings and reports.

Arrangement:
Files are organized into three sequences and filed alphabetically within each sequence. The three sequences are:

  1. Files created by Bethune
  2. Files created during processing from loose items
  3. Research materials and reports

Research materials and reports are arranged alphabetically by the name of the report or project.

Box

Affordable Housing, Commission on -- City of Newport : 1987-1989

12

Atlantean Project -- McTaggart, Ross : 1995

12

Aquidneck Housing Co Operative, Inc. : 1981 : (2 folders)

12

Aquidneck Island Coalition : 1987-1989 : (2 folders)

12, 17

BIG -- Broadway Improvement Group : 1995

13

CCACG -- Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling : 1980

13

Casino : 1993-2000 : 2 folders

13

City Plans : 1966

13

D [Del Sesto & Del Sesto, Attorneys] : 1965-1966

13

DOT -- Rollerbladers : 1993

13

DOT Watch -- Karen Salvatore : 1991-1993

13

Easton's Beach & Pond Assoc., Inc. : 1986-1991

13

Eco : 1999

13

Ecology Action for Rhode Island -- Payne, Kenneth : 1975-1976

13

Friends of the Waterfront : 1988-1992

13

Historic Zoning Commission : 1965-1974

13

I-895 : 1974-1979 : (5 folders)

13

[Aquidneck] Island Ecology : 1974-1983

17

L [Land] : Undated

14

Land Trust [Aquidneck Island] : 1996-1999

14

Lawsuit Clippings : 1966

14

M [Millar, John F. -- Marine Museum Plan] : 1965

14

N [Newport Imperatives] : Undated

14

Newport Housing : 1971-1973

14

Newport Redevelopment Agency & Planning Board : 1972-1973

14

Newport Taxpayer's Association : 1987

14

Parkway Plans : 1989

17

Point Section Neighborhood Improvement Cttee : 1969-1972 : (2 folders)

14

P [Press Releases] : 1965

14

Road : 1968-1978

14

Rose Island : 1986-1993

14

Russell, Mrs. Elizabeth : 1972-1974

14

Rhode Island '76 : 1973-1975

14

Save the Bay -- Trudy Coxe : 1985-1991
Additional materials may be found in the Citizens Advisory Committee subgroup.

14

Sound Water Policy : 1988-1993

14

South End Association : 1989-1993 : 2 folders

14

[Thom Beupuis] Photographs : Undated

14

Treasury TACT - ACT : 1965-1966

14

W [Woodward, Wharton & Weinhardt correspondence] : 1965-1966

14

Affordable Housing, Report of the Commission on : 1988

14

Aquidneck Island : 1978-2000

17
Drawer

Beattie Park : Undated

X
Box

Broadway Revitalization : 1995

14

Clean Water Action Candidate Questionnaire : 1990

14

Community Action Plan (CAP) Retrofit : 1978

15

Conference on Innovative and Alternative Technology : 1978 : 2 folders

15

HELIO -- RI Solar Energy : 1978

15

Historic Hill Project : 1970

15

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) : 1996-1998

15

Newport Economic Advisory Commission : 1995

15

Newport Newsletters : 1990-1997

15

Newport Historical Society Journal : 2000

15

Preservation Society of Newport County : 1965

15

Rhode Island Foundation : Undated

15

Save the Bay : 1987-1998

15

Thompson School Building Project : 1999

15

Research & Reports : 1966-1993 : (14 folders)

15-16

Series 6: Other Oversize Materials

1/2 drawer

Contents:
This series contains oversized materials -- photos, drawings, maps and newspaper articles and clippings -- that are only supplemental to the Newport Community Organizations as a whole. Many of the materials are unlabeled and undated and their relation to organizations and projects can not be determined.

Box

Photographs : Undated : 2 folders

18, 20

Drawings : 1964-1965

20

Maps : 1966

20

Newspaper Clippings : 1964-1969

20

Questions?

Contact Archives

St. Paul Library
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
651.690.6553
archives@stkate.edu