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Encyclopedia > The Breakers
The Breakers

The Breakers as seen from the lawn leading down to the sea
Building information
Location Newport, Rhode Island
Country United States
Architect Richard Morris Hunt
Client Cornelius Vanderbilt
Construction Start Date 1893
Completion Date 1895
Cost $7 million
Style Italianate

The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion located on Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island, on the Atlantic Ocean. ( 41°28′11″N, 71°17′55″W). It is a National Historic Landmark, and is owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Image File history File links The_Breakers_rear. ... Newport is a city in Newport County, Rhode Island, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. ... Statue of Liberty, Pedestal by Richard Morris Hunt Richard Morris Hunt (October 31, 1827, Brattleboro, Vermont - 1895) preeminent figure in the history of American architecture. ... Cornelius Vanderbilt Cornelius Vanderbilt I (May 27, 1794 – January 4, 1877), also known by the sobriquets The Commodore [1] [2] or Commodore Vanderbilt [3], was an American entrepreneur who built his wealth in shipping and railroads and was the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family. ... Biltmore house The Breakers, Newport, RI Marble House Newport, RI From the late 1870s to the 1920s, the Vanderbilt family employed Americas best Beaux-Arts architects and decorators to build an unequalled string of New York townhouses and East Coast palaces in the United States. ... Newport is a city in Newport County, Rhode Island, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. ... USS Constitution A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, site, structure, or object, almost always within the United States, officially recognized for its historical significance. ... The largest of the Preservation Societys mansions, The Breakers. ...


The Breakers was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the wealthy United States Vanderbilt family. Designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt and with interior decoration by Jules Allard and Sons and Ogden Codman, Jr., the 75-room mansion boasts approximately 138,000 sq. ft. of living space. The home was constructed between 1893 and 1895 at the then-astronomical cost of more than seven million dollars. The Ochre Point Avenue entrance is marked by sculpted iron gates and 30-foot high walkway gates are part of a twelve-foot-high limestone and iron fence that borders the property on all but the ocean side. The 250' x 150' dimensions of the five-story mansion are aligned symmetrically around a central Great Hall. Cornelius Vanderbilt II (November 27, 1843 – September 12, 1899) was a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family. ... The Vanderbilts are a prominent family in the history of the United States. ... An architect at his drawing board, 1893 An architect is a person who is involved in the planning, designing and oversight of a buildings construction. ... Statue of Liberty, Pedestal by Richard Morris Hunt Richard Morris Hunt (October 31, 1827, Brattleboro, Vermont - 1895) preeminent figure in the history of American architecture. ... The Parisian firm of Jules Allard and Sons (or Jules Allard et Fils in French) was one of the most notable interior decorating houses of the turn of the twentieth century. ... Ogden Codman, Jr. ... Year 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Part of a 13-acre (53,000 m²) estate on the seagirt cliffs of Newport, it sits in a commanding position that faces east overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Contents

History

The Breakers as of August 2006
The Breakers as of August 2006

As the previous mansion on the property owned by Pierre Lorillard IV burned down in 1892, Cornelius Vanderbilt II insisted that the building be made as fireproof as possible and as such, the structure of the building used steel trusses and no wooden parts. He even required that the furnace be located away from the house, under Ochre Point Avenue; in winter there is an area in front of the main gate over the furnace where snow and ice always melts. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1867x870, 163 KB) Photo of The Breakers from the rear, Newport, Rhode Island, taken August 2006. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1867x870, 163 KB) Photo of The Breakers from the rear, Newport, Rhode Island, taken August 2006. ... August 2006 is the eighth month of that year, and has yet to occur. ... The Breakers, 1878-1892 The Breakers (1878) was located on Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island (41° 28′ 11″ N 71° 17′ 55″ W). ... Pierre Lorillard IV (October 13, 1833 – July 7, 1901) was an American tobacco manufacturer and thoroughbred race horse owner. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


The designers created an interior using marble imported from Italy and Africa plus rare woods and mosaics from countries around the world. It also included entire rooms purchased from great chateaux in France. A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... A château ( French for castle; plural châteaux) is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of gentry, usually French, with or without fortifications. ...


"The Breakers" is the architectural and social archetype of the "Gilded Age", a period when members of the Vanderbilt family were among the most prominent industrialists of America. Indeed, "if the Gilded Age were to be summed up by a single house, that house would have to be The Breakers"[1]. In the year of its completion in 1895, The Breakers was the largest, most opulent house in a summer resort considered the social capital of America.


Vanderbilt died from a cerebral hemorrage caused from a second stroke in 1899 at the age of 56, leaving the Breakers to his wife, Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt. She outlived her husband by 35 years and died at the age of 89 in 1934. In her will, The Breakers was given to her youngest daughter Gladys essentially because Gladys lacked American property.


In 1948 Countess Gladys Széchenyi (1886-1965), the youngest daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, leased the high-maintenance property to the non-profit Preservation Society of Newport County for $1 a year. The Society bought the Breakers outright in 1972 for $365,000 from Countess Sylvia Szapary, the daughter of Gladys. However, the agreement with the Society allows the family to continue to live on the third floor, which is not open to the public. Countess Sylvia lived there part time until her death on March 1, 1998. Gladys and Paul Szapary, Sylvia's children, summer there to this day, hidden from the hundreds of thousands of tourists who explore below. 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... Countess and Count László Széchenyi, circa 1908. ... The largest of the Preservation Societys mansions, The Breakers. ...


Although the mansion is owned by the Society, the original furnishings displayed throughout the house are still owned by the family.


It is now the most-visited attraction in Rhode Island and is open year-round for tours. This article is about the U.S. State. ...


Gardens

The drive from the Ochre Point Avenue gates is lined with pin oaks and lit with copper lamp standards

The pea-gravel driveway is lined with maturing pin oaks and red maples. The formally landscaped terrace is surrounded by Japanese yew, Chinese juniper, and dwarf hemlock. The trees of The Breakers' grounds act as screens that increase the sense of distance between The Breakers and its Newport neighbors. Among the more unusual imported trees are two examples of the Blue Atlas Cedar, a native of North Africa. Clipped hedges of Japanese yew and Pfitzer juniper line the tree shaded foot paths that meander about the grounds. Informal plantings of arbor vitae, taxus, Chinese juniper, and dwarf hemlock provide attractive foregrounds for the walls that enclose the formally landscaped terrace. The grounds also contain several varieties of other rare trees, particularly copper and weeping beeches. These were hand-selected by James Bowditch, a forester based in the Boston area. Bowditch’s original pattern for the south parterre garden was determined from old photographs and laid out in pink and white alyssum and blue ageratum. The wide borders paralleling the wrought iron fence are planted with rhododendron, laurel, dogwoods, and many other flowering shrubs that effectively screen the grounds from street traffic and give the visitor a feeling of complete seclusion. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2560x1920, 2445 KB) Picture of The Breakers driveway and a lamp post, taken on Nov, 21, 2005 by User:Adains File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2560x1920, 2445 KB) Picture of The Breakers driveway and a lamp post, taken on Nov, 21, 2005 by User:Adains File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Binomial name Taxus cuspidata Siebold & Zucc. ... Species Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. ... Look up hemlock in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Binomial name Cedrus libani A. Rich. ... Subgenera Azaleastrum Candidastrum Hymenanthes Mumeazalea Pentanthera (Azaleas) Rhododendron Therorhodion Tsutsusi (Azaleas) Vireya Source: RBG, Edinburgh Rhododendron (from the Greek: rhodos, rose, and dendron, tree) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. ... Laurel may refer to: // Lauraceae, the botanical laurel family, including Bay laurel Laurus nobilis, the original true laurel that is the source of bay leaves used as a seasoning California Laurel Umbellularia californica is a related tree or large shrub True Cinnamon or Ceylon Cinnamon Cinnamomum verum, the inner bark... Subgenera Cornus Benthamidia Swida The Dogwoods comprise a group of 30-50 species of deciduous woody plants (shrubs and trees) in the family Cornaceae, divided into one to nine genera or subgenera (depending on botanical interpretation). ...


Layout

First Floor

  • Entrance Foyer
  • Gentlemen’s Reception Room
  • Ladies’ Reception Room
  • Great Hall (50 ft x 50ft) - Over each of the six doors which lead from the Great Hall are limestone figure groups celebrating humanity's progress in art, science, and industry: Galileo, representing science, Dante, representing literature, Apollo, representing the arts, Mercury, representing speed and commerce, Richard Morris Hunt, representing architecture and Karl Bitter, representing sculpture
  • Main Staircase
  • Arcade
  • Library
  • Music Room
  • Morning Room
  • Porch
  • Lower Loggia
  • Upper Loggia
  • Billiard Room
  • Dining Room
  • Marriage Chest
  • Breakfast Room
  • Pantry
  • Kitchen

Galileo can refer to: Galileo Galilei, astronomer, philosopher, and physicist (1564 - 1642) the Galileo spacecraft, a NASA space probe that visited Jupiter and its moons the Galileo positioning system Life of Galileo, a play by Bertolt Brecht Galileo (1975) - screen adaptation of the play Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... Lycian Apollo, early Imperial Roman copy of a fourth century Greek original (Louvre Museum) In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo (Ancient Greek , Apóllōn; or , Apellōn), the ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), was the archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, archery and also a... A sculpture of the Roman god Mercury by 17th-century Flemish artist Artus Quellinus. ... Statue of Liberty, Pedestal by Richard Morris Hunt Richard Morris Hunt (October 31, 1827, Brattleboro, Vermont - 1895) preeminent figure in the history of American architecture. ... Karl Bitter (December 6, 1867 – April 9, 1915) was an Austrian born United States sculptor best known for his architectural sculpture, memorials and residential work. ...

Second Floor

  • Mr. Vanderbilt’s Bedroom
  • Mrs. Vanderbilt’s Bedroom
  • Miss Gertrude Vanderbilt’s Bedroom
  • Guest Bedroom
  • Countess Szechenyi’s Bedroom
  • There are also two other small bedrooms located on the second floor.

Third Floor

The third floor contains eight bedrooms and a sitting room decorated in Louis XVI style walnut paneling by Ogden Codman.


Attic Floor

The Attic floor contained more staff quarters, general storage areas, and the innovative cisterns.


The Architect

The Breakers is also a definitive expression of Beaux-Arts architecture in American domestic design by one of the founding fathers of architecture in America, Richard Morris Hunt. The Breakers is one of the few surviving works of Hunt that has not been demolished in the last century and is therefore valuable for its rarity as well as its architectural excellence. The Breakers was Hunt’s final work, and is the singular house that has withstood the vagaries of time to be remembered as the monument that was the architect’s greatest achievement. The Breakers made Hunt the "dean of American architecture" as well as helping define the era in American life which Hunt helped to shape. Beaux-Arts architecture[1] denotes the academic classical architectural style that was taught at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. ... Statue of Liberty, Pedestal by Richard Morris Hunt Richard Morris Hunt (October 31, 1827, Brattleboro, Vermont - 1895) preeminent figure in the history of American architecture. ...


Materials

Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... Terra cotta is a hard semifired waterproof ceramic clay used in pottery and building construction. ... General Name, Symbol, Number platinum, Pt, 78 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 10, 6, d Appearance grayish white Standard atomic weight 195. ... Venus de Milo, front. ... A wrought iron railing in Troy, New York. ...

See also

Biltmore house The Breakers, Newport, RI Marble House Newport, RI From the late 1870s to the 1920s, the Vanderbilt family employed Americas best Beaux-Arts architects and decorators to build an unequalled string of New York townhouses and East Coast palaces in the United States. ... The Breakers, a gilded-age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. ...

References

  1. ^ Gannon, Thomas. Newport Mansions: the Gilded Age. Fort Church Publishers, Inc., 1982: p. 8.
  2. ^ http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/11/24/mansion_wall_panels_found_to_be_platinum/?p1=MEWell_Pos2

Bibliography

  • Wilson, Richard Guy, Diane Pilgrim, and Richard N. Murray. American Renaissance 1876-1917. New York: The Brooklyn Museum, 1979.
  • Baker, Paul R. Richard Morris Hunt. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1980.
  • Benway, Ann. A Guidebook to Newport Mansions. Preservation Society of Newport County, 1984.
  • Croffut, William A. The Vanderbilts and the Story of their Fortune. Chicago and New York: Belford, Clarke and Company, 1886.
  • Downing, Antoinette F. and Vincent J. Scully, Jr. The Architectural Heritage of Newport, Rhode Island. 2nd edition, New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1967.
  • Ferree, Barr. American Estates and Gardens. New York: Munn and Company, 1904.
  • Gannon, Thomas. Newport Mansions: the Gilded Age. Fort Church Publishers, Inc., 1982.
  • Jordy, William H., and Christopher P. Monkhouse. Buildings on Paper: Brown University, Rhode Island Historical Society and Rhode Island School of Design, 1982.
  • Lints, Eric P. "The Breakers: A Construction and Technologies Report" Newport, RI: The Newport Preservation Society of Newport County, 1992.
  • Metcalf, Pauline C., ed. Ogden Codman and the Decoration of Houses. Boston: The Boston Athenaeum, 1988.
  • Patterson, Jerry E. The Vanderbilts. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1989.
  • Perschler, Martin. "Historic Landscapes Project" Newport, RI: The Preservation Society of Newport County, 1993.
  • Schuyler, Montgomery. "The Works of the Late Richard M. Hunt," The Architectural Record, Vol. V., October-December, 1895: p. 180.
  • Smales, Holbert T. "The Breakers" Newport, Rhode Island. Newport, RI: Remington Ward, 1951.
  • Thorndike, Joseph J., ed. Three Centuries of Notable American Architects. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1981.

External links

  • Complete details of the building, from the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service (Adobe PDF file)
  • Preservation Society of Newport County, owner and operator of the Breakers and other mansions in Newport, Rhode Island
Mansions of Newport, RI
Preservation Society of Newport County

The Breakers | Chateau-sur-Mer | Chepstow | The Elms | Isaac Bell House | Kingscote | Marble House | Rosecliff The largest of the Preservation Societys mansions, The Breakers. ... Chateau-sur-Mer, Newport, Rhode Island. ... The Elms, viewed from its great lawn. ... Marble House, Newport, Rhode Island. ... Rosecliff is one of the fabled Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. ...


Not owned by the Preservation Society

The Astors' Beechwood | Belcourt Castle | Hammersmith Farm | Rough Point Belcourt Castle is the former summer cottage of Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, located in Newport, Rhode Island. ... Hammersmith Farm is located in Newport, Rhode Island and was the childhood home to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


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