Monday, September 9, 2013

Newport Part One

When I moved into my dorm two weeks ago, I had the next day completely free for an adventure.
 Since it was Labor Day Weekend, traffic was probably going to be too difficult to get to the Cape. So, 
my family decided to get away for the day to Newport, Rhode Island!

 As a HUGE history nerd and Downton Abbey fan, I have wanted to see the 
Newport mansions for quite some time. 

We started at the Breakers, the grandest of the summer "cottages" in Newport.

 Cornelius Vanderbilt was once one of the wealthiest Americans during the 1800s, making his fortune in the steamship and railroad industries to become a leading business tycoon during the American Industrial Revolution. In 1893, Vanderbilt commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to replace an old wooden house (that had been destroyed by a fire) on the seaside cliff property he owned. Hunt designed a 70 room Italian Renaissance style villa along with the help of Parisian, Austrian, and American designers and architects. The house cost 70 million dollars, the equivalent to 150 million dollars today. 

Completed only two years later in 1895, the house was named "Breakers" for the continuous crashing of waves on the cliffs below where the thirteen acres of the estate overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It would become the Vanderbilt's second house as their main residence and only other property was on Fifth Avenue where Bergdorf Goodman stands today. Designed with numerous closet space, running water, and electricity, the house had the latest modern technology at the time and narrow secret passageways to make the house seem to run "magically". 

It's difficult to say whether the house, ground's view, or the garden is the most beautiful part of the estate.

Sweater: J. Crew Factory | Jacket: J. Crew | Jeans: GAP | Shoes: Superga | Hat: J. Crew
Crossbody: Kate Spade | Sunnies: Anthropologie 

The Vanderbilt's youngest daughter, Gladys, inherited the house after her mother's death in 1934. She 
then opened the mansion to the public in 1948 to help raise funds for the Preservation Society of Newport County which bought the house in 1972 from her heirs. Today it still stands as a National Historic Landmark and a symbol of American wealth. Sadly, you are not allowed to take pictures inside the building. The inside is simply breathtaking though; the opulence and majestic design is just extraordinary. Rooms are filled with marble, gold, rich fabrics, and one of a kind paintings. There is a music room, great hall, and even a fascinating large kitchen area where all of the hard work took place to run the building (very Downton Abbey).

The estate is over the top, theatrical, and almost garish, but impressive, gorgeous, and enchanting just the same. If you're ever in Newport or Boston, I definitely recommend you take the time to visit.
It's only an hour and forty minutes from Boston...

Stay tuned for part two!


  1. I went to Newport this summer too! The Breakers mansion is so crazy... Every girl's dream right :)


    1. Totally every girl's dream!!! I would just love to attend one party there, it'd be like Cinderella! ;-)
      xo Tia


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