From the pages of RESIDE® | Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World | Fall 2013 Master Edition
Building stunning estates is something the industrialists and tycoons of the late 19th century did as well as make money. One of the Northeast’s most prominent and concentrated collections of Gilded Age mansions (or “cottages”—more irony—as they’re known here) is in Newport, Rhode Island, where a who’s-who of the nation’s wealthiest families congregated for portions of their summers giving Newport the lasting moniker of “America’s First Resort.”
$3,350,000 USD | Newport, Rhode Island | Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty
Newport remains a vibrant resort and destination with an envious array of arts and music festivals; a world-class boating and naval culture; historical landmarks, inns and tours; and attractions like the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Families of all demographics—no longer just the cultured elite—continue to make excursions here, even if the celebrations feature slightly less marble, lace and diamonds.
But drive down Bellevue Avenue or the western side of Aquidneck Island, past the processions of entry gates and immense lawns and manors that stand against the rocky coast, and no imagination is required to fathom the largesse and extravagant lifestyles of the turn-of-the-century rich and famous. From The Breakers (the famed 70-room mansion built for Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1895), to the Beaux Arts Marble House (William Kissam Vanderbilt, 1889), to Belcourt Castle (1894), The Elms (1901), Rosecliff (1902) or Jacqueline Bouvier’s family home at Hammersmith Farm (1887), site of her and John F. Kennedy’s wedding reception, Newport’s cottages are masterworks of residential architecture, cathedrals of wealth, opulence and power and signifiers of ideas of beauty and societal import.
$995,000 USD | Newport, Rhode Island | Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty
“They play a major part in the attractiveness of Newport and in what people are looking for in Newport,” says Paul Leys, Co-Owner of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty. For a very specific type of buyer, they also represent one of the most interesting real estate opportunities in the Northeast—the chance to own a home that once belonging to a Vanderbilt, or an Astor.
At any given time, Leys says, buyers will find a handful of historic cottages on the market. Leys, in fact, recently sold Clarendon Court, the 1903 Palladian-style former home of Claus and “Sunny” von Bülow, for over $13 million. In 2010, Oracle Corporation founder Larry Ellison purchased the Astor family’s famed 39-room Beechwood Mansion for $10.5 million. Continuing reading article >
Article provided by Derek Duncan exclusively for Sotheby’s International Realty®.