St. George's School

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Middletown, RI
United States
St. George's School

Overlooking Sachuest Bay from a broad hilltop north of Easton’s Point, this school was founded in 1896 by John Byron Diman as ‘Mr. Diman’s School for Boys,’ first occupying a building on Hunter Avenue in Newport, and then Swann Villa on Seaview Avenue, near First Beach. Re-named for the third-century saint, the school moved a few miles east to its more expansive setting in 1901, and was re-chartered as a private school affiliated with the Episcopal Church in 1907. Between 1904 and 1906, Olmsted Brothers produced ten plans for the school. 

Most of the 125-acre campus lies north of Purgatory Road, with tennis courts and a few faculty residences to the south. Clustered in axial groupings and forming courtyards, 50 buildings are surrounded by expanses of tree-shaded lawn, many of which serve as athletic fields. Lined with Norway maples, Main Drive is the primary access to the property from Purgatory Road, arriving at a circle in front of the Old School building before skirting west to reach the heart of campus, where historic structures are organized in quadrangles. Here, two courtyards—Dragon Quadrangle and Wheeler Close—front three contiguous early-twentieth-century buildings, all listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004:  the Memorial Schoolhouse, designed by McKim, Mead & White; Ralph Adams Cram’s Gothic Revival Church of St. George; and the Little Chapel, designed by Clarke, Howe & Homer, and moved east from its original location in 1924. In 2009 Sasaki Associates produced a master plan to help guide future growth of the campus.