Tuesday, July 31, 2012
"Beechwood" Cottage, Newport
"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.