Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Hammersmith Farm was the large estate of the Auchincloss Family. Today, the estate is owned by a different family than the Auchinclosss, although they still own most of the outbuildings, including The Windmill, The Castle and The Palace. Click HERE for more.
Monday, October 22, 2012
The Waves was built by architect John Russell Pope for his most important client......himself. The lot he had bought was next door to Edith Wharton's Land's End. The house had wonderful views of the ocean and nearby Bailey's Beach. He lived in the house with his wife, Sadie, who was the daughter of Pembroke Jones, who resided in another Newport cottage, Sherwood. When John died of an illness in New York City, Sadie continued to occupy the house until World War II, when the house was used to house military personnel. The estate was then purchased by heiress Josephine Hartford Bryce, who lived their with her daughter, Nuala. Nuala went on to marry Claiborne Pell, Rhode Island beloved senator.
Nuala and Claiborne built a small cottage on the northern front of the property, which they name Pelican Lodge. After the house was sold to Barclay Warburton, it was divided into condos. Nuala Pell still continues to live at Pelican Lodge.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Belcourt Castle was built for bachelor millionaire Oliver Belmont, son of August Belmont, a banker for the Rothschild family. The estate was unique in that the entire ground floor was devoted to the horses. When Belmont finally married, to Alva Vanderbilt, his new wife promptly commissioned renovations, replacing the ground floor stables with a large reception hall. When Belmont died, Alva inherited everything, including Belcourt Castle. Alva shut Belcourt down and moved into her other Newport estate, Marble House. She eventually sold Belcourt to Perry Belmont, Oliver's brother. Currently, Belcourt is for sale.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Barton "Glamma" Gubelmann, the Conservative, imperious, queen of Palm Beach society, who never had a problem swearing in front of company, spent her summers at her Newport palace, "Starboard House". To get their, Barton traveled by plane (in first-class of course), even buying tickets for her dogs, who sat next to her. She was followed by her secretary in a mercedes and he was followed by a large trailer, filled with Barton's clothing, jewels and her secretary's computer. Barton was famous for playing croquet, eventually being inducted into the hall of fame. "Starboard House" is still standing and was sold recently by Barton's heirs.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
"Beacon Hill House" was built for millionaire Arthur Curtiss James and his wife, Harriet. The James occupied the home for many years and occupied it continually for the summers. Mrs. James hosted a famous party titled Masque of The Blue Garden, held in the estate's Blue Gardens. Also on the property was a large farming complex, called the Swiss Village, which continues to stand today. Harriet died in 1941, followed by her husband three weeks later. The mansion was sold after James's death and sat empty for quite a long time. It was constantly ransacked by vandals, who stole many of the mansion's furnishings and decorative features. It burned down in 1967 and the grounds were subdivided.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Here are some photos I found of "The Ledges" cottage in Newport RI when is was up for rent, I currently don't know if it is still up for rent. The home was built for Robert Cushing by John Sturgis, it has passed through many family hands over the years and it is currently owned by Howard Cushing III and his wife, Nora Cushing.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Newport Country Club was founded by Theodore Havemeyer, who wanted to establish golf in Newport since his return from a trip to South of France. Theodore had convinced a few of his friend to sponsor the project and all they needed was a place to build it. They picked a 140-acre property named Rocky Farm, which they purchased for $80,000, and they commissioned architect Whitney Warren to design the clubhouse. The course was designed by William Davis and encompassed 18 courses. Today anyone can get into the Newport Country Club for only a small fee and play the courses that America's richest people had once played.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Vinland (top) was the summer home of Vanderbilt heiress Florence Twombly and her husband Hamilton Twombly. Situated on Ochre Point, it was built in 1884 by Peabody and Sterns for the New York heiress Catherine Lorillard Wolfe and was bought from her heirs by the Twomblys. Like other ocean front Newport properties, it had had the end of it's lawn the Cliff Walk, which was opened by a state law, guaranteeing public access to the shoreline. So if it wanted to, the public could observe the life of the house from the lawn side, a curious exception to the valued privacy and aloofness of Newport life.
Rough Point (bottom) was the summer home of Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt, who built it in 1891. They opened the home with a large ball featuring a Hungarian orchestra-Hungarian Orchestra were an almost invariable accompaniment of Newport parties-and the band from the Newport Casino. The grounds were decorated with Japanese lanterns and umbrellas. Passing out of the family's hands on Frederick's death, Rough Point was for many years the home of tobacco billionairess Doris Duke.
Both homes still survive, Vinland is a part of the Salve Regina University and Rough Point is owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation, founded by Doris Duke.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Bailey's Beach (today The Sprouting Rock Beach Association) was where Newport's elite flocked to enjoy Newport's beautiful ocean views. It was founded in 1890's and was used by Newport's high society families. To own one of Bailey's Beach's small wooden cabanas could mean acceptance into the fashionable world of Newport's elite, the only problem was only 500 members were allowed and new members were only added when one member died. Today, Bailey's Beach still has 500 members and is still just as exclusive as it was when the Astors, Vanderbilts, Whitneys and Van Alens occupied it.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Billionaire Lawrence Ellison has now unveiled plans on turning Caroline Astor's historic Newport cottage, "Beechwood", into a museum to house his large art collection. Ellison plans on restoring the property to the way it was when Mrs. Astor lived there and has called in architect John Grosvenor to oversee the renovation. The renovations include restoring the loggia and glass-walled palm court that were destroyed and replaced by Hurricane Carol in 1954 and also restoring the brownstone that used to cover the exterior. Ellison has also purchased the adjoining carrige house and green house lots and plans on merging the two lots. The grounds will also be restored and covered with lush greenery and gardens. The cost estimates have not been completed yet.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
"Beechwood" cottage was built for millionaire Daniel Parrish by Calvert Vaux in 1851 and was used as a summer retreat by Parrish and his family. In 1881, millionaire William B. Astor Jr., of the prominent Astor family, bought the cottage for $100,000 and gave it to his wife, Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, also known as "The Mrs. Astor", who was considered the queen of New York City society. Mrs. Astor called in architect Richard Morris Hunt to perform a $2 million renovation, which included the addition of a ballroom and a servant's wing. Mrs. Astor continued to reign there until her death in 1908. "Beechwood" passed to her son John, who was the richest man on the Titanic and perished when it sank. In 2010 it was purchased by billionaire Lawrence Ellison, who plans on turning it into a museum and saving another one of Newport's historic cottages.
Friday, July 20, 2012
"Castlewood" was built for the fabulously wealthy widow of Emile Bruguiere, Josephine Sather Bruguiere, as a Newport residence for her and her young son, Louis. Besides living at "Castlewood", Josephine and Louis divided their time between a large suite of rooms at Sherry's Hotel and an apartment in Paris. Tragically while returning to the United States, the ship that the Bruguieres were on, The Arabic, was torpedoed and sank. Josephine died in the sinking, but Louis survived. "Castlewood" was left to Louis, but it had been taken the year before by the bank. The house then went through a series of owners and for many years it was the Mercy Home orphanage. It was finally demolished and the land subdivided for development.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Above is a photograph of the great hall in the Goelet's Newport residence "Ochre Court", designed by Richard Morris Hunt. "Ochre Court" is now maintained by the Salve Regina University. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.
"Ochre Court" is the second largest home in Newport, second only to the Vanderbilt cottage "The Breakers". It was built by famed architect Richard Morris Hunt for millionaire Ogden Goelet and his family, at a cost of $4.5 million. The main house includes a great hall, drawing room, library, dining room, billiard room, ballroom, over 26 bedrooms and over 16 servant's rooms. On Ogden's death it passed to his son Robert, who in 1947 donated it to the Salve Regina University, who continue to maintain it brilliantly. I will soon be posting on my other blog, The Gilded Age Era, more on this house including interior photos and floor plans.
"The Rocks" was a large cottage on one of the best lots in Newport, on a large hill overlooking the famed Spouting Rock. It was built by John Hubbard Sturgis for Edward Boit and his wife Maria. It was later bought by millionaire Henry Clews, who retired there with his wife Lucy. Lucy loved spending money on fancy clothes from Paris and lavish jewels from Tiffany & Co. and it was often said that Henry's knack for making money nearly kept pace with her determination to spend it. On Henry's death the house passed to Lucy. Lucy continued to use "The Rocks" as her summer residence and shared it with her son Henry Jr. and his family, along with her daughter Elsie and her family. Later on, after Lucy's death, the home burned down and the land was bought by the Cushing family who merged it with their adjoining property and cottage "The Ledges".
When Grace Wilson Vanderbilt was not entertaining at the massive Vanderbilt palace at 640 Fifth Avenue or replenishing her wardrobe in Paris, she was summering at her cottage in Newport, RI, "Beaulieu". The Vanderbilts had purchased the property in 1911 and before that had rented it for $25,000 seasonally. The main house included 16 bedrooms, a library, billiard room, drawing room, dining room, wide surrounding veranda and rooms for 15 servants. Grace's most famous party the "Fete des Roses" was held here. For it a miniature theatre had be set up on the lawn for the Broadway show "Red Rose Inn", which had been brought all the way from New York City. The party was said to have cost $265,000. Grace continued to live here until her death in 1953 at the age of 82, after which it was sold to its present day owners.
"Beaulieu" is another of Newport's oldest cottages. Built between 1856 and 1859 by Calvert Vaux and A.J. Downing for Peruvian merchant Frederico Barreda. It was purchased by William Waldorf Astor for around $300,000. The Astor commissioned extensive renovations on the house and the property. "Beaulieu" used to be right next door to "Beechwood", the cottage of William's aunt Caroline Astor, until Alva Belmont built her cottage "Marble House" on the lot between them. It was later on leased to General Cornelius Vanderbilt III and his wife Grace Wilson (of the marrying Wilsons) for $25,000 seasonally. The Vanderbilts later purchased the house for only $100,000 and commenced renovations. After Garce's death in 1953 at the age of 82, the home was put on the market. Today it is owned by Wiley T. Buchanan Jr. and his wife Ruth Wheeler (heiress to the Dow Chemical Company fortune).
"The Ledges" is one of the oldest homes in Newport. It was built in 1867 by architect John Hubbard Sturgis for the Boston millionaire Robert M. Cushing. Cushing was a member of the prominent Boston family, made rich from the China Trade, and an incorporator to the newport Casino and the adjacent Bailey's Beach. On Robert's death it passed to his son, the artist Howard Gardiner Cushing, who continued to live there until his death. Today it is owned by Howard and Nora Cushing, descendants of Robert.
Above are pictures of two of my favorite cottages in Newport, "Crossways" owned by the Fish family and "The Rocks" owned by the Clews family. I recently did a post about "Crossways" on my other blog, The Gilded Age Era, which included floor plans and interior photos. I am still trying to gather information and photographs for "The Rocks" but so far I have only been able to find exterior photos. "Crossways" is still standing and is now a condominium, "The Rocks" unfortunately has been demolished.
Above is a picture of the baronial dining room at "Marble House", the Alva Belmont cottage in Newport RI. This magnificent room was inspired by the Salon d'Hercule at Versailles and was designed by Jules Allard. It is equal in size to that of the ballroom across the hall. "Marble House" is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Photo courtesy of Roger Green.
Newport is famous primarily for it's large gilded age mansions, also know as White Elephants. Above is an ariel view of a few of it's cottages. From left to right: "Rough Point" the Duke cottage, "Rock Cliff" the Ames cottage, "Ocean View" the Mills cottage and "Miramar" the Widener cottage.