Included in Cliff Walk are the Newport Mansions. Cort and I bought tickets that gave us access to five of the properties. I can say that they are mind blowing. It is terribly unfortunate (but understandable) that photos are not allowed inside the mansions. There is no description for the grandeur they posses and exactly how ornate they are. We had fun imagining what it would've been like to live in one of them.
The least impressive of the properties we saw; it was very dark, very Victorian. I would feel suffocated if I had to live here. It was also the only property was visited that had a live guide. Most places include audio tours - I have to say that I thought our guide had a very dry, funny, wit, but also had a bit of an accent that was difficult to follow at times.
As the name implies there is a lot of marble in this house. Here we learned that the summer season was 7-8 weeks of the year and the elite society held at least 10 dinners with more than 60 guests and at least 6 balls with 600 or more guests. Their budget for the season was about $500,000 or $7 million in today's dollars.
Rosecliff was the "on the cheap" version of the Newport Mansions. Although it appears to be constructed with white marble it is actually glazed terra cotta. The terra cotta;provided good fireproofing while coming in at a fraction of the cost. This house was eventually purchased by a woman who did not live in it or maintain it and during the winter the pipes burst and flooded the house. One of the curators was a young boy at the time and remembers coming to see the grand staircase encased in an ice waterfall.
The entire middle section of the house is the grand ballroom. Flanking are the main entrance on the right and the dining room on the left.
This wisteria covered circle shielded the view of the service entrance from the rest of the grounds. The owners were seeking to convey that everything just magically appeared without benefit of a legion of staff and service people.
Weeping Beech Tree - that's Cort standing next to it, just so you can understand the scale of these trees.
The crown jewel of the Newport Mansions. The Breakers was built by the Vanderbilts and was the height of modern day technology and comfort. You cannot possibly understand the scale and grandiosity of The Breakers unless you visit. And then you will be BLOWN AWAY.
View from the Loggia. I may never have left the loggia if I lived here.
View from the first floor porch
This is the playhouse. THE PLAY HOUSE.
There were several of these lighting fixture in the front of the house, but this was the only one with purple globes.