August 7, 2012
Gilded Age: Pride in Excess
The flaunting of wealth that marked the Gilded Age is difficult to grasp. Forbes reports there are currently 425 U.S. billionaires, the most in any country. They tend to live in cocoons, flinching when the media write about their vast homes or other trappings of wealth.
But Newport Rhode Island’s Gilded Age mansions were built for the express purpose of showcasing the unprecedented fortunes accumulated during the new industrial age. Summer residents paraded in their finery during afternoon carriage rides and held lavish parties for hundreds – sometimes thousands – on the grounds of their seaside homes, which replicated the castles that wealthy Americans saw during their European vacations. [On Aug. 16-19, The Preservation Society of Newport will host a weekend of carriage rides.]
Enjoy this photo tour of The Breakers and Marble House! Newport’s most spectacular homes were built by two grandsons of the steamship and railroad magnate “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt.
Arial View of The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island:
Cornelius Vanderbilt II introduced his “summer cottage” to high society with a 1895 debutante party for daughter Gertrude, officially putting his $75 million fortune on grand display. …Learn More