Bellevue Avenue is a famous street located in Newport, Rhode Island, known for its opulent Gilded Age mansions. During the Gilded Age, which roughly spanned from the late 19th to the early 20th century, wealthy industrialists and social elites built luxurious summer homes in Newport to escape the heat of larger cities like New York and Boston. more here
Key features of Bellevue Avenue and the surrounding area include:
1. Gilded Age Mansions: The highlight of Bellevue Avenue is the collection of grand mansions that line the street. These mansions were built by prominent families like the Vanderbilts, Astors, and Morgans. The architecture of these homes is a mix of various styles, including Beaux-Arts, Italianate, and Renaissance Revival, showcasing the wealth and taste of their owners.
2. The Breakers: One of the most famous Gilded Age mansions on Bellevue Avenue is The Breakers, the summer residence of the Vanderbilt family. It is a prime example of the opulence and grandeur characteristic of the era and is now open to the public as a historic house museum.
3. Marble House: Another notable mansion on Bellevue Avenue is Marble House, which belonged to Alva Vanderbilt and was designed to resemble the Petit Trianon at Versailles. It features extensive use of marble throughout the interior, giving it its name.
4. Rosecliff: Rosecliff is yet another impressive mansion on the avenue, known for its beautifully landscaped gardens and hosting various social events and parties during the Gilded Age.
5. Cliff Walk: The Cliff Walk is a public access walkway that runs along the eastern shore of Newport, passing behind many of the Gilded Age mansions. It offers stunning views of the coastline and provides an opportunity to get a closer look at the exteriors of these magnificent homes.
6. Historic Preservation: Newport’s commitment to preserving its Gilded Age architectural heritage has earned it recognition as a National Historic Landmark District. Many of the mansions have been meticulously restored and maintained, allowing visitors to experience the lavish lifestyles of the past.
7. Tourism: Bellevue Avenue and the Gilded Age mansions have become a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world to marvel at the extravagance of the era and learn about the history of these iconic residences.
Bellevue Avenue’s collection of opulent mansions offers a glimpse into a bygone era of extreme wealth and luxury. It stands as a testament to the aspirations and lifestyles of America’s wealthiest families during the Gilded Age and remains a significant cultural and historical attraction in Newport. view more