Front of Marble House
Marble House is a monumental homage to extravagance. Built principally for Alva Vanderbilt by Richard Morris Hunt, it is based on the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
Under the main entrance
The entire house screams formality and classicism inside and outside.
Over one of the side windows
Inside the house boasts more than 500,000 cubic feet of marble.
The Ocean facing facade
The Tea House at Marble House
The tea house was added to the grounds by Alva in 1912. It was designed by the firm of Hunt & Hunt. (Richard Morris Hunt’s sons.) It was the site of several suffragist meetings after WWI.
Inside the Tea House
Today Marble House is one of the mansions operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County.
Click here to see more of my photos of Marble House.
Belcourt Castle from Bellevue Ave.
From 1891-1894, Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont hired Richard Morris Hunt to design a Newport castle for his horses and himself.
close up of exterior
This house may be stylistically the most schizophrenic in design that I have seen. The exterior resembles a French chateau. Walk inside the entrance archway into the courtyard, and one finds oneself surrounded by half timbering that reminds me of an English Tudor style, but I have been reminded that half timbering is seen in Norman style architecture too. All I can say is that the juxtaposition of the two styles so close together is jarring.
entrance archway from courtyard
About the stables….. I have heard the following about this house: “It is a palatial stable with an incidental apartment attached.” In addition to the stable wing, the whole first floor of the house (the incidental apartment was on the 2nd floor) was also stable space, open to the outside until Alva Vanderbilt Belmont moved in in 1896. Alva enclosed the first floor and turned it into an Italian Renaissance styled hall and banished the horses to the stable wing.
Stable wing inside courtyard
Belcourt is privately owned and open for tours sporadically. I hear that it is up for sale and I hope a suitable buyer can be found for it. It is in need of restoration and it’s history and architecture are worthy of saving.
Click here to see more of my photos of Belcourt Castle.