Opulence is a word easily applied to the grandest of Newport Rhode Island’s summer “cottages". Yes I said cottages, as that's what they are referred to in Newport, and back in the Gilded Age. It was nice to see all of the mansions of Newport. The luxury, the opulence, the wealth, was very, very impressive. I would love to see the year round house!!!!! I would highly recommend this trip if your a lover of homes and interior design. The tour we took was only 39.95 to tour 5 mansions and the Breakers was separate. Between the house tours and Cliff Walk I got plenty of walking in!!!! In this post I'll share the first two of my jaw dropping favorites.
Probably the most famous, and my favorite of the houses on the Newport mansion tour is the Breakers.
I literately felt about two inches tall next to these gates!!!!
The grandest of Newport cottages, the home was constructed between 1893 and 1895 at a cost of more than $7 million. The Breakers was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The five-story 70-room mansion boasts approximately 65,000 sq ft. of living space. The Ochre Point Avenue entrance is marked by sculpted iron gates and 30-foot high walkway gates are part of a 12-foot-high limestone and iron fence that borders the property on all but the Atlantic Ocean side. In 1948 Countess Gladys Széchenyi (the youngest daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II), sold the high-maintenance Breakers to the non-profit Preservation Society of Newport County in 1972 for $365,000. I was interested to learn that, the family continues to live on the third floor, which is not open to the public. They summer there to this day, hidden from the hundreds of thousands of tourists who explore below. Hot damn, there is hope yet I'll end up with Anderson!!!!!! Some of my favorite rooms.....
Morning tea anyone????
The second house we went to see the second day was the Marble House. It may look smaller in these pictures, but I assure you when standing in front of it, it was indeed huge!!!! The front pillars were like the great giant titans in Greek mythology. The Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for William Kissam Vanderbilt, grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt.
It was reported to cost $11 million ($260,000,000 in today’s dollars) of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Upon its completion, Mr. Vanderbilt gave the house to his wife Alva Erskine Smith as her 39th birthday present. William’s older brother Cornelius Vanderbilt II subsequently built the grandest of Newport cottages, The Breakers, between 1893 and 1895.The Vanderbilts divorced in 1895 and Alva married Oliver H.P. Belmont, moving down the street to Belcourt. After his death, she reopened Marble House, and had a Chinese Tea House built on the seaside cliffs, where she hosted rallies for women's right to vote. She sold the house to Frederick H. Prince in 1932. The Preservation Society acquired the house in 1963 from the Prince estate. In 2006, Marble House was designated a National Historic Landmark
So aren't they just cute little ole summer cottages? It would take my houseboys and then some to run these year round!! But I could live with that!!