Historic Places

Rosecliff (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.

Historic Places

Marble House (My Newport Adventures)

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

Historic Places

The Elms (My Newport Adventures)

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.

Gargoyle of the Day

Gargoyle of the Day: Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

Gargoyles on private homes are uncommon. Gargoyles on private homes in the United States are like unicorns - rare, exciting, and magical (metaphorically, of course). These gargoyles are part of the gorgeous Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, constructed in the late nineteenth century. According to several sources, the Biltmore's gargoyles are non-functioning - and… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

Historic Places

Where in the world is this place? Not where you might think.

  The house pictured above might look like an English manor house or a French chateau, but it is actually a country estate near where I live in the United States. I went to visit this turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts mansion one day this past week. The home is now privately-owned and no longer decorated according to… Continue reading Where in the world is this place? Not where you might think.