Tag Archives: Real Estate

Newport, Rhode Island

Summer is my favorite season and that is due, in large part, to all of the summer days and nights spent in Newport, RI. The seaside town is set amidst historic buildings, cobble stone streets, and some of the nations best known ( and impeccably preserved) mansions.  You can charter a motor or sail boat to take in the spectacular coast line or hop on a bike or walk the city to get a feel for it’s charming streets.

1. Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong on the set of High Society filmed in Newport. A must see!

2. Dinner and dancing at The Sky Bar on the top floor of The Clark Cooke House. After 11:30 pm the tables are cleared and the DJ starts spinning, finish up the evening with a rendition of “God Bless America”.  The heirloom tomato salad and lobster ravioli are my favorite dishes.  Make sure to save room for their famous “Snowball in Hell” for dessert (a chocolate brownie, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and shaved coconut lit on fire).

3. Surfing at Bailey’s as photographed by Slim Aarons

4. Newport to Bermuda Race June 2010

1. Grab a cocktail ( preferably a dark n’ stormy) and watch the sun set on the lawn of The New York Yacht Club.  On a side note, I was married here and it is one of my favorite locations.

2. Images 2,3,6, and 7 are various levels of The Clark Cooke House ( the Sky Bar is the top) which in my opinion, is the best restaurant in town for dinner.

4. The Newport Bridge at Sunset

5. The Black Pearl is located right next to the Cooke House on Bannisters Wharf and is the perfect spot for lunch or go to the annex for a hot dog and clam chowder.

7. The Boom Boom Room is the night club in the basement of The Clark Cooke House.

1. and 2. The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the Pennsylvania coal industry. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d’Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris. Construction of The Elms was completed in 1901 at a cost reported at approximately $1.4 million. The interiors and furnishings were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris and were the setting for the Berwinds’ collection of Renaissance ceramics, 18th century French and Venetian paintings, and Oriental jades. The elaborate Classical Revival gardens on the grounds were developed between 1907 and 1914. They include terraces displaying marble and bronze sculpture, a park of fine specimen trees and a lavish lower garden featuring marble pavilions, fountains, a sunken garden and carriage house and garage. These gardens were recently restored.

Mrs. Berwind died in 1922, and Mr. Berwind invited his sister, Julia, to become his hostess at his New York and Newport houses. Mr. Berwind died in 1936 and Miss Julia continued to summer at The Elms until her death in 1961, at which time the house and most of its contents were sold at public auction. The Preservation Society of Newport County purchased The Elms in 1962 and opened the house to the public. In 1996, The Elms was designated a National Historic Landmark.

3. The Tea House at Marble House. Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, a summer house, or “cottage”, as Newporters called them in remembrance of the modest houses of the early 19th century. But Marble House was much more; it was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport’s subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces.

Mr. Vanderbilt was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who established the family’s fortune in steamships and the New York Central Railroad. His older brother was Cornelius II, who built The Breakers. Alva Vanderbilt was a leading hostess in Newport society, and envisioned Marble House as her “temple to the arts” in America. It was designed by the architect Richard Morris Hunt, inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The cost of the house was reported in contemporary press accounts to be $11 million, of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Upon its completion, Mr. Vanderbilt gave the house to his wife as a 39th birthday present. The Vanderbilts had 3 children: Consuelo, who became the 9th Duchess of Marlborough; William K., Jr., a prominent figure in pioneering the sport of auto racing in America; and Harold, one of the finest yachtsmen of his era who successfully defended the America’s Cup three times. The Vanderbilts divorced in 1895 and Alva married Oliver H.P. Belmont, moving down the street to Belcourt. After his death, she reopened Marble House, and had a Chinese Tea House built on the seaside cliffs, where she hosted rallies for women’s right to vote. She sold the house to Frederick H. Prince in 1932. The Preservation Society acquired the house in 1963 from the Prince estate.  In 2006, Marble House was designated a National Historic Landmark

4. The Breakers is the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages” and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century. The Commodore’s grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport during that same year. In 1893, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire the previous year. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Allard and Sons of Paris assisted Hunt with furnishings and fixtures, Austro-American sculptor Karl Bitter designed relief sculpture, and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.

The Vanderbilts had seven children. Their youngest daughter, Gladys, who married Count Laszlo Szechenyi of Hungary, inherited the house on her mother’s death in 1934. An ardent supporter of The Preservation Society of Newport County, she opened The Breakers in 1948 to raise funds for the Society. In 1972, the Preservation Society purchased the house from her heirs. Today, the house is designated a National Historic Landmark.

5. and 6. Doris Duke’s Rough Point. Frederick W. Vanderbilt built this vast English Manorial house in 1889 on a dramatic, windswept promontory on Newport’s Cliff Walk, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In 1922, James B. Duke, the founder of fortunes in electric power and tobacco, and benefactor of Duke University, purchased Rough Point. In 1925, James Duke died, leaving his enormous financial legacy to twelve-year-old Doris, his only child. Rough Point became one of Doris’s several very private retreats.

Doris Duke had a keen eye as a collector and followed this passion throughout her life. Representative artists within the collection include Renoir, Van Dyck, and Joshua Reynolds as well as artisans of the Ming Dynasty. Upon her death in 1993, she bequeathed the estate to the Newport Restoration Foundation, the organization she founded to help preserve Newport Rhode Island’s architectural heritage.

7. The Tennis Hall of Fame

Places To Stay:

1. The Inn at Castle Hill overlooks the mouth of Newport Harbor and Jamestown.

To reserve a room: http://www.castlehillinn.com/

2. The Chanler Hotel is perched right above 1st Beach at the beginning of the Cliff Walk.

To reserve a room: http://www.thechanler.com/

3. The Hotel Viking is the perfect spot to be right in the center of town.  From here it is an easy walk to tour the mansions, browse antiques on Spring Street, or walk down to dinner on Thames Street.

To reserve a room: http://www.hotelviking.com/

Real Estate: Below are a selection of beautiful homes that are currently for sale in Newport. Visit  www.liladelman.com or www.gustavewhite.com for details.

If you want to see more of Newport and read about the architects and the people whose homes they designed go to amazon for the following books:




Continue reading

Sakonnet Vineyards- Little Compton, Rhode Island

A once in a lifetime opportunity to own vineyard lands in Rhode Island’s most beautiful seaside community. Bucolic 12+ acre fully permitted lot. Beautiful vistas, miles of New England stone walls, and idyllic water views. Abutting over 100 acres of conserved vineyard land of which 45 acres are planted producing close to 10,000 cases of “Estate Grown” nationally and internationally acclaimed wine. Own a slice of heaven and enjoy all the character and charm of vineyard life.

The lot next door is also for sale with a post and beam country cottage on a private lane with commanding views of water, vineyards and fields abutting over 100 acres of conservation land. 14+ acres of stone wall laced landscape present many possibilities. A one of a kind, first ever offering.

Sakonnet Vineyards was named “Best Winery in New England” for 2006. Visit their website below:


For inquiries email Chan Lyle and mention Sara Gilbane Interiors


Continue reading

Hopedene- Newport, Rhode Island

Majestically presiding over Cliff Walk, a three-mile scenic path along the coast, and the Atlantic Ocean itself, Hopedene is an estate of unmatched refinement and comfort. Built in 1899 and described as Peabody and Stearns’s most monumental Colonial Revival–style residence, this exceptional compound has been brilliantly renovated, marrying historic gentility with the present-day amenities required for exceptional 21 Century living.

Approached via a private lane to gilt and wrought iron gates, Hopedene’s six manicured oceanfront acres surround a commanding Georgian Revival style main house, expansive balustrade bordered terraces, an impressive carriage house with guest quarters, an ocean facing pool and spa, tennis court, gated service entrance, and an FAA approved heliport.

A marble vestibule with a mosaic floor and coffered barrel-vaulted ceiling introduces the grand Italian Renaissance style center hall with ornate wrought iron and gilt stairway open to the second level above. This opulent entry grants access to all principal rooms of the first and second levels.

The library’s handsome walls are accented by canvas and plaster reliefs with gilt accents. To the west of the center hall is the semi circular Ogden Codman designed ballroom, presently used as a dining room. A charming ante room with fireplace and lovely floral painted panel insets gives way to two elegant salons and the stunning glass enclosed sun room with terra cotta flooring. From this enviable vantage point, which opens to a large bluestone terrace, breathtaking views of rolling lawn contrast magnificently with the vast expanse of sea.

The extravagant butler hall with black and white marble floor, easily accessed from the entry hall, kitchen, parlor, breakfast room, and carriage house, functions capably and beautifully in support of all entertaining functions. A large sunny kitchen, cook and butler’s pantries, a flower room, an intimate breakfast parlor, a kitchen library, and a mud room masterfully complete the first level.

The impressive interiors continue on the second level, home to five luxurious en suite bedrooms, four of which have marble fireplaces, two children’s bedrooms, and one additional bath. A large linen closet with original built ins amply houses bedding and bath accoutrements. The light filled third level houses a private guest suite with sitting room and full bath, two children’s bedrooms with an additional bath, and an exercise suite.

A perfect venue for casual entertaining, the distinctive carriage house includes a posh game room with a bar and abundant space for billiards, ping pong, and socializing, a full bath, a nautical library, French doors opening to bluestone terraces and the pool, and a heated garage. Its second level provides gracious accommodations for guests with one en suite bedroom, a full kitchen and laundry, four additional bedrooms, and two baths.

Hopedene is fittingly supported with state-of-the-art systems including air conditioning, an elevator, a large basement laundry room, electric gates at both main and service driveways, and on demand generator service to both residences.

Newport, Rhode Island, just 90 minutes from Logan International Airport in Boston, 30 minutes from Quonset Airport, and 3 hours from Manhattan, is home to numerous cultural and sporting attractions including world renowned jazz, folk, and classical music festivals, the Newport International Film Festival, the Tennis Hall of Fame, golf, yachting, and polo.

Email Chan Lyle and mention Sara Gilbane Interiors




Continue reading