On Thursday, our third and final day in Newport, we went to The Breakers, the best-known of the city’s “cottages.” Though I think the Marble House was more extravagant, The Breakers certainly lived up to its expectations.
The 65,000-square-foot mansion has 70 rooms. It was finished in 1895 and cost $7 million to build. Richard Morris Hunt was the architect who designed The Breakers to look like an Italian Renaissance mansion (see, Mediterranean mega mansions also were sought after more than a hundred years ago). Like the Marble House, it was built for a Vanderbilt heir. Vanderbilt descendants still live on the third floor and they own all the original furnishings.
Charlie Burns, a curator for the Preservation Society of Newport, showed us around. Photography isn’t allowed inside, but because we were were a special group, we were allowed. Some of the many guards had trouble getting used to this. Unfortunately, my camera isn’t the best and the combination of lack of light and giant rooms resulted in mediocre pictures. Then again, few cameras could do the place justice. Here they are anyway: