|The Breakers, the summer estate of industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt II, was thelargest & most opulent house in the Newport area when it was completed in 1895.|
It’s better late than never. I’ve been hearing about the mansion of the Vanderbilts since the Glora Vanderbilt jeans became a hot trend decades ago. It was the hot buzz back then. The neon-printed souvenir white shirts screaming Newport in large font showed “I’ve been there.” Really? I didn’t notice. It could have been a pasalubong but whatever it is, it made us, the travel-impaired (at that moment), envious.
|The balcony of the Breakers with the view of the sea.|
I made it to Boston a) to see a good friend, and b) to see the place. But Cris, being the most gracious host, took time off work to show me around the place he nosw calls home plus the neighboring towns. How in the world would I know he penned Salem, Rockport and so many other places on his list of place he wanted me to see? I am grateful.
|One of America’s great Victorian Houses, Chateau-sur-Mer is the first of thegrand Bellevue Avenue mansions of the Gilded Age mansions in Newport|
The seaside city of Newport in Rhode Island is a popular summer destination. It is where the highest concentration of preserved colonial buildings can be found of any US city, the Newport Mansions being the most popular.
|Newport’s great party house. Silver heiressTheresa Fair Oelrichs’Rosecliff Mansion was built to entertain on a grand scale.|
So I finally was able to tour the very European-inspired 70-room summer estate of industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt II (that doesn’t allow photography boo-hoo), the largest (imagine a two and a half story high Great Hall in it) and most opulent house (imagine a Morning Room adorned with platinum leaf wall panels, and other interior features of rare marble, alabaster and gilded wood throughout) in the Newport area when it was completed in 1895. It may have raised eyebrows back then, but like they say, if you have it, why not flaunt it?
Time is what I lacked on this visit to Newport. It was a drive-through visit for the rest of the estates- the Hunter House, Chateau-sur-Mer, the Elms, Rosecliff, the Marble House,Kingcote, Isaac Bell House and the Chepstow.
It was a nice short visit, and maybe I should be revisit this summer destination during, well, summer. At that thought I bade Newport farewell and left sans the large-font, neon-printed souvenir shirt.
Published in Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 19, 2013.