“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” ~ Frank Borman
My travelogue of Newport, Rhode Island continues today. I had the opportunity to tour the Marble House, one of the mansions. High up on the Cliff Walk, overlooking Rhode Island sound and the Atlantic Ocean, it was home to the Vanderbilts who made their fortune as venture capitalists in the NY Central Railroad and steamships. Their investments and other wealthy families foresight in our country’s future, brought more prosperity through expanding commerce.
The opulent stone palace, now a National Historic Landmark, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and was constructed during the years 1888-1892. Once complete, it was a 39th birthday present to William K Vanderbilt’s wife, Alva. How do you wrap a present like that? In gold, of course, inside, rather than out. She loved to entertain and saw the Marble House as “her temple to the Arts in America.”
Husband and wife, had separate private reading rooms filled with books, on opposite sides of the mid-level landing of the enormous, two story marble stair case. It is where they went to get away, relax from all their social entertaining. They also built a Chinese teahouse on the property with a magnificent view where guests could go for peace and solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the Marble House activities.
Alva and William K Vanderbilt had three children. Their son, William K, Jr. was a pioneer in auto racing. Their son, Harold pursued his passion of yachting and sailed in the America’s Cup three times. Their daughter Consuelo became the 9th Duchess of Marlborough.
Photos are not allowed to be taken inside the mansion. To read more about the Marble House and to see a photo of the gold room in the Marble House, please visit this link. http://www.newportmansions.org/explore/marble-house.
It was a fulfilling weekend in New England, exploring art, history and architecture.
Another “summer cottage” along Belleview Road
Above: Marble House, the Vanderbilt’s Summer Cottage by the Sea.
Chinese Teahouse on the property of Marble House
The Backside of Marble House – facing the sea
Above: Gates of Salve Regina Univ in Newport, RI – it was graduation day!
Above & Below Images: Stopped by the International Tennis Hall of Fame – it was neat!
Goodbye, Newport! Can’t believe we saw all these sites in Newport in one day. Well worth the stop!
Signed, Grateful, that I returned to this area once again. Loved every minute!