City Spotlight: Newport, RI

Newport, Rhode Island by Dougtone (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Moving can be a difficult task just based on the size and shape of a home. When thinking about cities with some of the biggest homes, I immediately though of Newport, RI. While moving to Newport Beach can be the popular destination for summer homes in California, Newport, RI was one of the summer spots for many of the rich and famous at the turn of the 20th century. During this gilded age, wealthy families were moving and building mansions along the New England coast.

The Breakers – Moving to Newport, RI, you will see The Breakers. Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who was a member of the Vanderbilt railroad family, moved into this mansion in 1893. It was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. It has 70 rooms that cover about 65,000 square feet. The mansion is on a 13-yard estate that includes moving and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as a playroom for kids. It would have been so neat to grow up there! I could only imagine how many movers it must have taken and how many hours they spent moving into that house!

Moving around the backyard of The Breakers mansion (Photo by Maralinga in WA)
The enterance to the children’s playhouse at The Breakers (Photo by Rachel Jacobs)

The Marble House – This house was built in 1892 for William K. Vanderbilt. William was a horse breeder and used his inheritance for building and moving to Newport into the Marble House. Richard Morris Hunt also designed this mansion with inspiration by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. Vanderbilt passed away in 1920 and the mansion was turned into a museum. What makes the Marble House different from other mansions a long the coast? This one has a Chinese Tea Garden!

The front of the Marble House (Photo by dhan911)
Entrance to the Chinese Tea House (Photo by MJA Designs)

The Rosecliff
– The Marble House and the Rosecliff mansion were used in filming the American classic, The Great Gatsby. The home was built for Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs. It was modeled after the Grand Trianon at Versailles. Many events were held at the Rosecliff including nights with the magician, Harry Houdini. Other films that have been shot at the Rosecliff include True Lies, Amistad, and 27 Dresses.

The Front of the Rosecliff mansion (Photo by muffinman71xx)

Touro Synagogue – Moving back in history, this synagogue is America’s oldest existing synagogue. The first Jewish settlements in America were in New Amsterdam (now New York), and in Newport in 1658. Architect Peter Harrison completed the synagogue in 1763. Over the years, the synagogue served as a meeting spot for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Today, approximately 30,000 people visit the synagogue each year.

The entrance to America’s oldest existing synagogue (Photo by dbking)

Salve Regina University – Salve Regina University is located in the mix of many famous Newport mansions. This small liberal arts college is home to one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. The campus lies along the Atlantic Ocean and houses its students and classes in original buildings built in the area!

One of the many original buildings that make up Salve Regina University (Photo by reynolds.james.e)

Newport, Rhode Island is definitely one a New England hotspot! While it may not be California’s Newport Beach, it’s still breathtaking and will definitely get you moving.

The harbor in downtown Newport (Photo by Rachel Jacobs)

Have any more stories about moving to a Newport in the US? Tell me about it in the Comments section!