24 September 2018:
Newport, Rhode Island, US:
The Cottage Industry

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Newport, Rhode Island was where the rich came to play.

One game, at the peak of the Gilded Age, was a grand form of one-upsmanship, a competition to impress, astound, and outspend each other.

They built “cottages”, a word some used with a wink and a nod.

After the Civil War came the Gilded Age, a time of great wealth and expansion.

Bar Harbor in Maine, and the Adirondacks of upstate New York boomed: a surge of privately owned American castles, if you will. Newport was perhaps the greatest beneficiary.

Fall in New England in town and at the Tennis Hall of Fame. All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

The Breakers is the grandest of the summer “cottages.”

Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established his fortune in steamships and later the New York Central Railroad, which was key to the nation’s industrial growth in the late 19th century.

His grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the railroad in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers.

After a fire in 1892, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a replacement.

Hunt created a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin.

It’s a pleasant little cottage.

CHATEAU-SUR-MER

On this visit we took the opportunity to visit a lesser-known gem of the Newport properties: Chateau-sur-Mer.

This home, erected in 1852, was a product of the China trade. It predates most of the Gilded Age Cottage of Newport, but in many ways outshines cold and formal marble with its warm carved wood interior including hand-carved Italian woodwork, Chinese porcelain, and other treasures.

The Mansion was home to three generations of the Wetmore family.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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