Last year I took you through a tour of The Breakers of Newport, Rhode Island. Down the streets of Bellevue Ave you will find mansion after mansion (or summer cottage, whichever you’d prefer). The streets are so nice to walk along. Large shade trees in every yard, ivy and rosebushes are climbing the stone walls. Iron gates made you feel like you were right back in the Gilded Age. I kept looking down to see if my modern day attire had transformed into a large ornate gown dragging behind me as I walked along…imagination was running wild! I kept saying to my kids,”Imagine what it was like to…”
This year, it’s all about Rosecliff! This beautiful mansion was modeled after the Grand Trianon at Versailles and was built at a reported $2.5 million back in the day! Big elaborate parties were thrown here with special guests such as magician Harry Houdini. This along with the Marble House and other Newport mansions is where many movies were shot including Amastad, The Great Gatsby, The Betsy, and True Lies.
The architecture is of the Baroque Revival era by architect Stanford White who’s design principles embodied the American Renaissance. Rosecliff was made of terracotta stone and not marble. Who ever would’ve guessed?
Rosecliff is well known for it’s beautiful rose gardens and for cultivating the American Beauty Rose. Here’s a picture of the grounds…
Oh! Hello there I am, lol! The picture on the right is of the rose garden. See the ocean in the distance above the statues head?
It was so beautiful outside!
Elaborate moldings stole my heart in the library/ man cave.
Gorgeous chandeliers in the dining and ball rooms.
The Ballroom grand piano in gold leaf! Google True Lies movie scenes and you can see this room!
When I saw this humongous white thing pictured below (left pic) tucked away in the corner of this dining room, I wondered what purpose that served. It was odd and just couldn’t possibly have been placed in the room just for looks. Come to find out, it is a heater. The servants would put coal or wood in the back and stoke the fire. It is made of cast iron, so it radiates heat. Pretty neat, huh? Next ( right pic) is a radiator cover, how fancy!
Sadly all the original furniture had been sold at auction. When the Monroe’s purchased Rosecliff, they refurnished it in the 40’s. That Dressing Mirror! Some extra pics of a fireplace lined with decorative fleur de lis metal, ooh la la! Evidently, the Fleur de lis symbol represented the Trinity!
The Gift Shop was in the Basement with a pic of Mrs. Monroe (left) and then take a look at that basement ceiling (bottom right). Wow!
I hope you enjoyed this blog. We love history and visiting a part of the past where beauty never fades! Our next blog will be of a New England Village from the mid 19th century, stay tuned and thanks for reading our blog!