The Breakers in Newport

Friday, 23 February 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

The Breakers in Newport © Elisa.rolle/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Breakers in Newport © Elisa.rolle/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion located on Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island on the Atlantic Ocean. The building became a National Historic Landmark in 1994, and is a contributing property to the Bellevue Avenue Historic District. It is owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County and is open for visitation on a year-round basis. The Breakers was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the wealthy . It is built in an architectural style based on the Italian Renaissance. Designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt, with interior decoration by Jules Allard and Sons and Ogden Codman, Jr., the 70-room mansion has a gross area of 125,339 square feet (11,644.4 m2) and 62,482 square feet (5,804.8 m2) of living area on five floors. The house was constructed between 1893 and 1895. The Ochre Point Avenue entrance is marked by sculpted iron gates and the 30-foot-high (9.1 m) walkway gates are part of a 12-foot-high (3.7 m) limestone-and-iron fence that borders the property on all but the ocean side. The footprint of the house covers approximately 1 acre (4,000 m2) of the 14 acres (5.7 ha) estate on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Breakers is one of the most visited house museums in America and in 2016 had 472,700 visitations.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II purchased the grounds in 1885 for $450,000 ($12.0 million today). When the previous mansion on the property owned by Pierre Lorillard IV burned on November 25, 1892, Vanderbilt commissioned famed architect Richard Morris Hunt to rebuild it in splendor. Vanderbilt insisted that the building be made as fireproof as possible and as such, the structure of the building used steel trusses and no wooden parts. He even required that the boiler be located away from the house, in an underground space below the front lawn. The designers created an interior using marble imported from Italy and Africa, and rare woods and mosaics from countries around the world. It also included architectural elements (such as the library mantel) purchased from chateaux in France. Expansion was finally finished in 1892.

The Breakers in Newport © UpstateNYer/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Breakers in Newport © Elisa.rolle/cc-by-sa-3.0 Garden flower beds at The Breakers © UpstateNYer/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Breakers from the front drive © Adains/cc-by-2.5 Kitchen © UpstateNYer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Great Hall © UpstateNYer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Library © UpstateNYer/cc-by-sa-3.0
<
>
Garden flower beds at The Breakers © UpstateNYer/cc-by-sa-3.0
The Breakers is the architectural and social archetype of the Gilded Age, a period when members of the Vanderbilt family were among the major industrialists of America. In 1895, the year of its completion, The Breakers was the largest, most opulent house in the Newport area. It represents the taste of an American upper class—socially ambitious but lacking a noble pedigree—who were determined to imitate and surpass the European aristocracy in lifestyle; a taste and ambition which was cynically noted by many members of the European upper-classes. However, this cynicism, coupled with assumptions of vulgarity, was not so deeply rooted that it prevented the daughters of these lavish houses and their associated dollars from marrying into the European aristocracy. Vanderbilt died from a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a second stroke in 1899 at the age of 55, leaving The Breakers to his wife, Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt. She outlived her husband by 35 years and died at the age of 89 in 1934. In her will, The Breakers was given to her youngest daughter, Countess Gladys Széchenyi (1886–1965), essentially because Gladys lacked American property. Also, none of Alice’s other children were interested in the property, while Gladys had always loved the estate. The Breakers survived the great New England Hurricane of 1938 with minimal damage and minor flooding of the grounds. In 1948, Gladys leased the high-maintenance property to The Preservation Society of Newport County for $1 per year. The Preservation Society bought The Breakers and approximately 90% of its furnishings in 1972 for $365,000 ($2.1 million today) from Countess Sylvia Szapary, the daughter of Gladys. However, the agreement with the Society granted life tenancy to the Countess Szapary. Upon her death in 1998, The Preservation Society agreed to allow the family to continue to live on the third floor, which is not open to the public. It is now the most-visited attraction in Rhode Island with approximately 400,000 visitors annually and is open year-round for tours.

The pea-gravel driveway is lined with maturing pin oaks and red maples. The trees of The Breakers’ grounds act as screens that increase the sense of distance between The Breakers and its Newport neighbors. Among the more unusual imported trees are two examples of the Blue Atlas Cedar, a native of North Africa. Clipped hedges of Japanese yew and Pfitzer juniper line the tree-shaded foot paths that meander about the grounds. Informal plantings of arbor vitae, taxus, Chinese juniper, and dwarf hemlock provide attractive foregrounds for the walls that enclose the formally landscaped terrace. The grounds also contain several varieties of other rare trees, particularly copper and weeping beeches. These were hand-selected by Ernest W. Bowditch, a landscape architect and civil engineer based in the Boston area. Bowditch’s original pattern for the south parterre garden was determined from old photographs and laid out in pink and white alyssum and blue ageratum. The wide borders paralleling the wrought iron fence are planted with rhododendron, mountain laurel, dogwoods, and many other flowering shrubs that effectively screen the grounds from street traffic and give visitors a feeling of seclusion.

Read more on The Preservation Society of Newport County – The Breakers and Wikipedia The Breakers (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Naomi Campbell's eco house in Turkey has the shape of the Eye of Horus

Naomi Campbell's eco house in Turkey has the shape of the Eye of Horus

[caption id="attachment_152770" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Luis de Garrido[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Architect Luis de Garrido has designed a glass domed house is completely energy and water self-sufficient and features an amazing indoor landscaped terrace. Everything about this concept house is a dream: its comfortable microclimate, its constant flow of air, light and heat when necessary, its superior landscaping, and of course the fact that it was built on the Isla Playa de Cleopatra in Turkey (notice the Egyptian the...

[ read more ]

The Explorers Club

The Explorers Club

[caption id="attachment_23621" align="alignleft" width="590"] Honored Members © explorers.org[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Explorers Club is an American-based professional society dedicated to scientific exploration of Earth, its oceans, and outer space. Founded in 1904 in New York City, it currently has 30 chapters worldwide. In addition to sponsoring expeditions and lectures, the Explorers Club is known for their adventurous, exotic cuisine served at their banquets. Many of the founders of the Explorers Club had expe...

[ read more ]

New Orleans in Louisiana

New Orleans in Louisiana

[caption id="attachment_169199" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Royal Street © Jan Kronsell/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]New Orleans (French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is the major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city is at 392,000. The New Orleans metropolitan area (New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area) has a population of 1.4 million. The city is known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well ...

[ read more ]

The Europa-Park

The Europa-Park

[caption id="attachment_23520" align="alignleft" width="590"] Greece © Jonaslange/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Europa-Park is the largest theme park in Germany and a second most popular theme park resort in Europe. Having 4.5 million visitors in 2011, it is the most popular seasonal theme park in the world and the second most visited theme park in Europe after Disneyland Paris. Europa-Park is located in Rust, in the south-west of Germany between Freiburg and Strasbourg, France. It is usually open from just before East...

[ read more ]

Freiburg im Breisgau, the world capital of solar technology

Freiburg im Breisgau, the world capital of solar technology

[caption id="attachment_160190" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Historical Merchants Hall © Andreas Trepte[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Located in the extreme south-west of the country, Freiburg straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain. One of the famous old German university towns, and archiepiscopal seat, Freiburg wa...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Tunisia - Bizerte

Theme Week Tunisia - Bizerte

[caption id="attachment_168270" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Old Port and Kashba of Bizerte © O.Mustafin[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Bizerte, also known in English as Bizerta, is a town of Bizerte Governorate. It is the northernmost city in Africa, located 65 km (40mil) north of the capital Tunis. The city had 143,000 inhabitants in 2014. Bizerte is on a section of widened inlet and east-facing coast of the north coast of Tunisia, 15 kilometres from Ras ben Sakka (the northernmost point in Africa on the Mediterranean Sea), 20...

[ read more ]

Egeskov Castle in Kværndrup

Egeskov Castle in Kværndrup

[caption id="attachment_152838" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Egeskow Castle © Grega.nered[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Egeskov Castle is located in the south of the island of Funen. The castle is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle. Egeskov's history dates to the 14th century. The castle structure was erected by Frands Brockenhuus in 1554. Due to the troubles caused by the civil war known as the Count's Feud (Danish: Grevens fejde), general civil unrest, and a civil war introducing the Protestant Reformati...

[ read more ]

The Maldives

The Maldives

[caption id="attachment_151435" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Malé © Shahee Ilyas[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Maldives also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago. It stands in the Laccadive Sea, about seven hundred kilometers (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka and (250 mi) south-west of India. This chain of islands is an archipelago lo...

[ read more ]

Alba in the Piedmont region

Alba in the Piedmont region

[caption id="attachment_160698" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Piazza Risorgimento © Davide Papalini[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Alba is a town and comune of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Cuneo. It is considered the capital of the hilly area of Langhe, and is famous for its white truffle and wine production. The confectionery group Ferrero is based in Alba. In addition to traditional agriculture, Alba is a very important center of wine. In the area of Alba, in fact, there are 290 wineries that cultivating an area of 700 h...

[ read more ]

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg

[caption id="attachment_207627" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - Tony Webster/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is a luxury hotel located on the Neuer Jungfernstieg in Hamburg, Germany. It is recognized as one of the top hotels in the world. The hotel has received numerous national and international awards and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World alliance. During an auction on February 24, 1897, Friedrich Haerlin bought the small and inconspicuous building ...

[ read more ]

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲
Al Bithnah Fort © Mike "fasmike" Che/cc-by-sa-3.0
Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Fujairah

Fujairah is one of the seven emirates, and the only one of the seven that has a coastline solely on...

Mangroves with the city of Umm al-Quwain © flickr.com - Peter Dowley/cc-by-2.0
Theme Week United Arab Emirates – Emirate of Umm al-Quwain

Umm al-Quwain is the least populous of the seven emirates, located in the north of the country. The emirate is...

Andrew Carnegie © Library of Congress - Theodore C. Marceau
Portrait: Andrew Carnegie, steel magnate and philanthropist

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, business magnate, and philanthropist during the Gilded Age. Carnegie led the expansion of the...

Schließen