If you’ve read all my posts in this series, you’ve officially been introduced to every Newport mansion I visited. (But not every Newport mansion, since unfortunately I didn’t get to visit two of them.) But my Newport adventure wasn’t entirely mansion tours. There’s lots else to see and do in town. The Redwood Library and Athenaeum is… Continue reading Newport Wrap-Up
Brayton Hall, the Brayton family’s former home, is located about 20 minutes outside Newport in the nearby town of Portsmouth. The primary attraction of this site isn’t the house, but the garden, popularly known as the Green Animals Topiary Garden. It has more than 80 topiaries shaped of like animals and objects alongside may other trees and flowers. My favorite topiaries were the owl,… Continue reading The Green Animals Topiary Garden (My Newport Adventures)
The Isaac Bell House is very different from anything else I saw in Newport. While the Vanderbilts, Berwinds, and other prominent Newport families looked to the past to imitate Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architecture, Isaac Bell looked forward instead. Thanks to his architect Stanford White, his house (completed in 1883) began a new style that’s now called Shingle Style.… Continue reading The Isaac Bell House (My Newport Adventures)
Kingscote was owned by George Nobel Jones, and then several generations of the King family (who obviously gave it the name). The home was built in 1841 but substantially enlarged in the 1880s for the Kings. The original house was designed by Richard Upjohn, and the addition was by McKim, Mead, and White. Kingscote is large and impressive,… Continue reading Kingscote (My Newport Adventures)
The Breakers is the crown jewel of Newport, and it’s totally crazy to experience. Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who owned the house with his wife Alice, clearly saw himself as a grand Renaissance prince. The Breakers was designed to look like an Italian Renaissance palace by Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1895.
Chateau-sur-Mer is probably the most Victorian of all houses in Newport. It was owned by William Shepard Wetmore, who made his fortune trading with then-exotic China. When it was built in 1852 – long before the big four – it was one of the most famous houses in Newport. William’s son, George Peabody Wetmore, inherited it in 1862, and he had… Continue reading Chateau-sur-Mer (My Newport Adventures)
Of all the mansions I saw in Newport, Rosecliff was my favorite. It was owned by Hermann and Tessie Oelrichs and designed by Stanford White, completed in 1902. Tessie Oelrichs liked to host parties, and Rosecliff was definitely designed to be her perfect venue. She hosted her first of many, highly-theatrical galas before Rosecliff had even been fully completed.
The Marble House (completed in 1892) was designed by Alva Vanderbilt, who was then the wife of William K. Vanderbilt. The house was designed by Richard Morris Hunt with decoration by Jules Allard and Sons. The Marble House is definitely over the top, yet it feels strangely accessible because none of the rooms are particularly large. Despite the gilt, brocade, and ornamentation, its scale gives a human feeling
The Elms was the first mansion I saw on my first day in Newport, and it was the perfect way to start my trip. The home was built in 1901 for Edward and Herminie Berwind, who made their fortune in the coal industry. It was later occupied by Edward’s sister Julia. The house was designed by Horace Trumbauer of Philadelphia and decorated by Jules Allard and Sons of Paris.
Last week, I was lucky enough to spend some time in Newport, Rhode Island, where I saw eight gorgeous mansions in three days! Over the next week or so, I’ll provide you with the scoop on each of them. But before we get started, let’s talk about Newport itself. For anyone who doesn’t know, Newport… Continue reading An Introduction to Newport