The Breakers was the home of Cornelius II and Alice Vanderbilt, who made their fortune in steamboats and railroads. Designed by the Vanderbilt’s premier architect, Richard Morris Hunt, it is considered the grandest of the Newport Mansions.
The Vanderbilts had seven children of which 3 survived. They were of great faith and met while teaching Sunday school. They were cognizant of their great riches, and while loosing many children to death they were aware those given much have much taken away.
Upon Cornelius II death the $100 million fortune was passed to his son William, who in 7 years increased the fortune to $200 million. Not wanting to continue this career path he turned the investment over to JP Morgan, and his bank to manage.
Symbols of the Vanderbilt family – the acorn appear throughout the Mansion as does…
train and steamship representation. This is noted in the marble sculpture above this doorway.
The Christmas decorations throughout the Newport Mansions are spectacular. There are also night tours of the grounds. All fireplaces are functional and present in each of the 15 bedrooms.
Some of the decorations..
In the Library there is a fireplace from the Chateau d’Arnay le Duc in Burgundy, France. It is 500 years old.
Their daughter Gertrude, in a drawing below, was a prominent artist. She was instrumental in creating the Whitney Museum which I will be visiting in a later New York City blog. This was her bedroom and art.
The first Breakers was built from 1877-1892 of wood and burnt to the ground. The current Mansion was built from 1893-1895. The Mansion was named for the waves which break on the cliff below.
There is a cliff walk surrounding the Mansion. A must see and do, but dress warm..
Next: Marble House