Blogging from The Breakers: Newport, RI

A look inside one of America’s most luxurious mansions…

Advertisements

The next stop on our Rhode Island vacation was a self-guided tour of The Breakers. The most extravagant of the Newport mansions, The Breakers signifies the wealth and influence of the Vanderbilts—once one of America’s most powerful families.

We arrived on a crisp summer morning, the air cooled by the storm passing through Newport. For a fee, we were given access to the mansion with a pair of headphones detailing the importance of The Breakers’ rooms.

Below is a collection of some of the tour’s highlights.

20170627_110351.jpg

This view of the mansion shows the builders’ attention to detail even on its exterior.

20170627_110240

The Breakers’ garden was well-landscaped and painted a gorgeous picture beneath the cloudy sky.

20170627_121429

Statues, sculptures, and gargoyles were scattered throughout the grounds.

20170627_111705

This photo was taken from the bottom of the Grand Staircase. The skylight above was designed by John La Farge, a renowned stained glass artist.

20170627_111642

Another view of the Grand Staircase—the detailed tapestry depicts a scene from Alexander the Great’s life.

20170627_111625

The Great Hall’s ceiling—this was home to debutante balls, dances, and other formal events. President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy were guests at The Breakers in 1962, and other elite members of American (and European) society visited the mansion.

20170627_111742

Another view of the intricate Great Hall.

20170627_112111

The Dining Room hosted guests from the “400 Society” and other groups during the Gilded Age. The chandelier to the right is adorned with Baccarat crystal, and the entire room is decorated with gold. Mr. Vanderbilt even equipped The Breakers with electricity, an uncommon feature in those days.

20170627_112636

Dolphins, the symbol of hospitality, are just some of the creatures painted on the Billiard Room’s ceiling mosaics. Decorated to resemble an ancient Roman room, the walls are made of Cipollino marble from Switzerland.

20170627_113024

Modeled after the styles of the French and Italian Renaissance, the Morning Room was designed by Parisian Jules Allard. The walls are decorated with platinum, a resilient metal.

20170627_113254

Furnished with a variety of crystals and mirrors, the Music Room plays homage to the Vanderbilts’ musical attributes. In addition to concerts, this space hosted celebrations from balls to Gertrude Vanderbilt’s wedding.

20170627_113500

An avid reader, I quickly claimed the Library as one of my favorites. The walls are Circassian walnut, and the leaves pressed into the wood are made of gold.

20170627_114120

This bathroom’s tub was crafted from one block of marble and modeled after a Roman sarcophagus. The faucet has four taps—an extra two for hot and cold salt water, which was believed to have health benefits. Did I mention The Breakers has twenty bathrooms?

20170627_110859

This photo depicts the embellished ceiling of the Upper Loggia, which provided an excellent view of the lawn during parties.

20170627_110827

At the tour’s end, I reflected on the true significance of The Breakers. Most of us would never expect to attain the notoriety the Vanderbilts once held in American society, yet this visit reminded me it’s perfectly alright to keep dreaming those big dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Blogging from The Breakers: Newport, RI”

  1. Awesome pictures!! I’ve only been to the Breakers a few times before, and it seems like each time it gets harder and harder to imagine the planning, attention, and detail that went into this building. Crazy stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s