Newport, Rhode Island’s “Gilded Age”

Newport, Rhode Island’s “Gilded Age”

I ended my eight days in Boston on Sunday with a day trip to Newport, Rhode Island, and an opportunity to step back in time to the late 19th century when gold-encrusted and marble-laden mansions were the rage. It was labeled the “Gilded Age” to describe a time of materialistic excesses of the wealthy industrialist and financiers combined with the extreme poverty of millions of European immigrants.

Check out the grand mansions of the Vanderbilt family…The Breakers and Marble House.

I’m in Martha’s Vineyard wrapping up my time in New England…more on this island south of Cape Cod, Mass…with its harbor towns, lighthouses, sandy beaches, quaint shops, 19th century architecture and its Native, European and African ancestry…to come.

The front drive of The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. The Breakers is the architectural and social archetype of the “Gilded Age,” a time of wealthy industrialists and financiers conspicuous consumption. The Breakers, constructed between 1893 and 1895 in an Italian Renaissance architectural style, was the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the wealthy U.S. Vanderbilt family. Aug. 20, 2017
The great hall of The Breakers was built as the Newport, Rhode Island, summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the wealthy U.S. Vanderbilt family. It is built in an architectural style based on the Italian Renaissance. Aug. 20, 2017
Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843–1899) was an American socialite, heir, businessman and a member of the prominent U. S. Vanderbilt family who became head of the New York Central railroad lines in 1885. Aug. 20, 2017
The five-floor mansion of The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, has 70 rooms.
The library room of The Breakers mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The bedroom of the The Breakers homeowner, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The bathroom of The Breakers homeowner, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The staircase of The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
A mini-fountain behind the staircase of The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The dining room of The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The kitchen of The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
View from the balcony of The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
A weeping beech tree part of the various signature trees that were brought over from Europe as part of the landscape designs of the Newport, Rhode Island “Gilded Age” mansions. Aug. 20, 2017
St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island, is where President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier were married on Sept. 12, 1953. St. Mary’s was designated a National Historic Shrine on Nov. 24, 1968. Aug. 20, 2017
The shops of Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The shops along the harbor of Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The yacht-filled harbor in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
Took a lunch break at Panera’s in Newport, Rhode Island. Not sure of the Panera’s outside of New England offer Lobster Rolls for lunch, but this one did. Yum! Aug. 20, 2017
The front of the Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. The mansion, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, was built as a summer “cottage” retreat between 1888 and 1892 for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. It was a social landmark that sparked the transformation of Newport from a relaxed summer colony of wooden houses to the now-legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. The 50-room mansion required a staff of 36 servants, including butlers, maids, coachmen, and footmen. Aug. 20, 2017
The marble staircase at the front entrance of the Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The marble staircase at the front entrance of the Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The dining room of the Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The Gothic Room of Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
A close-up of the stained glass in the Gothic Room of Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The Gold Salon of the Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The spiral staircase to the servants quarters of the Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The chandelier in the gold salon of the Marble House on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
Alva Vanderbilt’s bedroom in the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017
The kitchen of the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island. Aug. 20, 2017 

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