The agenda on Wednesday, our second day in Newport, was loaded. We started the day at the Hunter House, another building from Newport’s shipping heyday. Then we moved on to 19th century vacation mansions Isaac Bell House, Kingscote, Chateau-sur-Mer, and Marble House. We also had lunch at The Elms carriage house. And then in the evening I went to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which is housed in the Newport Casino.
One of the benefits of being a Preservation Institute: Nantucket student is that we got tours of the Hunter House, Isaac Bell House, and Kingscote (plus The Breakers on Thursday) from Preservation Society of Newport curators Charlie Burns and Paul Miller. They had insights we simply couldn’t have received from a tour guide (though the guide at Chateau-sur-Mer was good).
The Hunter House was finished in 1754 and has had a few additions. It's now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport, the organization that owns 11 properties there.
The house had a great collection of treasured colonial Newport furnishings. One rare piece had an estimated value of $25 million. I'm surprised so much valuable stuff is in house right on the water that doesn't seem to be very climate controlled.
The interior craftsmanship was high quality, too.
The Isaac Bell House -- built in 1883 by famed firm McKim, Mead, and White -- was extremely innovative for its time. It's a Shingle style house and is a forerunner to Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School with its open floor plan and Japanese architectural elements.
It was divided up into boarding rooms and nearly was torn down until it was saved at the last minute by PSN in 1996. Now it's undergoing restoration.
It has an incredible glass ceiling overlooking the first and second floors. We were given free reign of the house to take pictures, so I'll have to post the rest in a separate entry.
Kingscote was built in 1839 as a summer home for a Savannah planter in the Gothic Revival style. McKim, Mead, and White built an addition in 1881.
Those are Tiffany glass windows.
We had lunch at the carriage house behind The Elms, completed in 1901 and modeled after a French palace.
Chateau-sur-Mer was finished in 1852 and owned by the same family until it was donated to the PSN in 1969. It's 37,000 square feet. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed in the interior.
We took our last tour of the day at Marble House. It was finished in 1892 and cost $11 million!
This house didn't allow cameras, either. The extravagance was mind boggling. Marble House has a gold ballroom, enough said.
This tea house was built in the back.
The Shingle style Newport Casino was built in 1880. It played host to the U.S. Open until 1914. Now it houses the International Tennis Hall of Fame.