The Newport Preservation Society owns and maintains many of these Gilded Age "cottages," but a handful beautiful Newport palaces, including Fairholme, Plaisance, Wildacre, and Wyndham, remain in private hands and are currently for sale.
The society was founded in 1960 by Robert F. Bruegmann with the goal of preserving the city's Victorian and early twentieth-century architecture. Today, it is one of the largest preservation organizations in the country with over 600 members. It operates seven historic districts in Newport, consisting of more than 2,000 buildings, most of which are classified as contributing structures to the national heritage.
Newport has been called the American Riviera because of its temperate climate and extensive network of beaches and boardwalks. The city is located on Rhode Island's Atlantic coast, about an hour and a half from Boston and 90 minutes from New York City. It is known for its exclusive summer communities, family-friendly beaches, and world-class golf courses.
Beachfront homes in Newport sell for millions of dollars; some have sold for as much as $25 million.
The Newport mansions, initially known as "cottages," were erected as summer houses for affluent New York and Philadelphia tycoons during the 1850s and 1900s. Benjamin Henry Latrobe and William Crawford Gist designed many of these splendid homes.
The first mansion, now known as The Elms, was built in 1852 for John Dyson. It is a modest one-story structure with Greek Revival features. The second mansion, now known as Brightwood, was built two years later by Thomas Hastings (a wealthy Philadelphia merchant). This elegant home features a double-height entry hall, formal dining room, library, and greenhouse. The third mansion, now known as Marble House, was built in 1855 for Charles Carroll of Carroll & Carroll. This French Provincial-style house has been restored to its original glory by Dr. J. McKim Marriott and his family.
The fourth mansion, now known as Sea View, was built in 1857 for Asher B. Durand. This Italianate-style house has been converted into luxury apartments. The fifth and final mansion, now known as Redwood, was built in 1860 for Joseph Whipple Jr., a Boston businessman. This magnificent home features an entrance hall, ballroom, study, dining room, and kitchen with staff quarters above.
During the return of Christmas at the Newport Homes on Saturday, November 21, 2020 through January 20, 2021, the luxury of Newport's Gilded Age mansions meets the sparkle and wonder of Christmas. The tour features more than 100 rooms and takes visitors into the heart of New York City's social scene during its high point: the Gilded Age.
Newport was then a fashionable seaside resort town in Rhode Island, and the mansions were built by wealthy American industrialists who came to New York to make their fortunes. Some stayed permanently, but many of them weren't interested in farming or fishing; they wanted to be part of the high society life in the city. As a result, these magnificent homes have been transformed into winter wonderlands where visitors can enjoy holiday music and decorations while wandering through large gardens and stately rooms.
The best time to visit is from November to February, when the houses are decorated for the holidays. After all the tourists have gone home, the townships of Newport become quiet again.
You can learn more about Christmas at the Newport Homes at http://newportmansions.org/christmas/.
(Newport, Rhode Island) For the first time, three Newport houses will be available daily for visitors during the winter. The Breakers (1895), The Elms (1901), and Marble House (1892) are now open every day of the year, adding to Newport's popularity as a destination during the "shoulder seasons."
The Breakers, White Post Office on the Ocean Course, 16 hours a day, five days a week; The Elms and Marble House, 9:30 AM-5 PM daily.
Winter visitors can take guided tours of the homes during specified times, but advance reservations are required. There is no charge for admission to the grounds of The Breakers or Marble House; fees apply for use of other facilities such as the golf course.
In addition to its annual influx of tourists, Newport experiences large seasonal swings in population due to the weather. In summer, when the beaches are most popular, many more people live in town than in the off-season. Annual household income is about half what it is in Boston during the fall and spring seasons.
Newport has tried various strategies over the years to attract more tourism during off-peak periods, with limited success. A proposal by then-Mayor Jerry Carino to lower the price of parking meters in order to make them more attractive during off-hours was rejected by the city council in 2006.
Mansion on the Newport Coast, California, was built in 1919 by real estate developer Harry Culver. It has been listed for sale since 2014 for $100 million and holds 14 rooms.
The mansion's owner, an investment firm called Soho Capital Management, purchased the house for $25 million in 2000. The price tag has never changed hands.
The mansion sits on a lot that spans about half an acre and has 12,000 square feet of living space. It features five bedrooms and six bathrooms inside its wood-frame building. A separate one-bedroom cottage also resides on the property.
Out back, you'll find a garden with sculptures, a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a guesthouse/servant's quarters.
It's safe to say that this isn't your average Southern California beach town home. Mansion on the Newport Coast has been featured in several television shows including HBO's "Ballers" and TLC's "Culver City".
According to the New York Times, it took more than 100 workers around the clock for three years to complete the house.
The greatest Newport mansion tours, in my view, are:
Stanford White, the famed architect, created it to resemble the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French royalty at Versailles. Baroque and Baroque Revival are the architectural styles. It is a great example of a Gilded Age home in Newport. It is a historic home that is available to the public.
Stanford White was an American architect who had a successful practice in New York City during the Gilded Age. He is best known for his lavish country houses, which were popular with wealthy Americans. One of these is the Newport Mansions, which he designed for Charles W. Norton and William H. Townsend. It is a museum now, but at the time it was built, it was the most expensive house in America. It has been called "the last great country house built before World War I.".
The first version of the house was built from 1882 to 1883. It was burned down two years later. The current house was built by White's partner, Henry Hobson Richardson, and is one of his finest works. It was completed in 1890. After White's death in 1919, his wife sold the house. It was bought by a group of investors who converted it into a hotel. This business failed and the house was acquired by the city of Newport in 1956. It is now a museum devoted to White and his work.
There are many other things to see as you walk through the rooms of this magnificent home.