On October 8th, the Preservation Society of Newport County invites members and guests of NESAH to tour areas of The Breakers never before seen by the public.
History of the Breakers:
The Breakers is the legendary Newport residence of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and his family. Constructed in 1893-1895, the house contains 70 rooms including some 23 family bedrooms and guest rooms as well as 33 servant bedrooms. After World War II, houses like The Breakers were seen as obsolete, windows to a fading lifestyle and era. With the foresight of the late Countess Laszlo Szechenyi (born Gladys Vanderbilt), she loaned her childhood home to be used as a house museum. Following the opening of The Breakers to the curious public in 1948, the Vanderbilt family decamped to the third floor of the house – originally designed for the Vanderbilt boys, guests, and staff – and lived there seasonally when in Newport. The residency of the Vanderbilt family and their descendants continued on for the next 70 years, while hundreds of thousands of visitors toured the floors below every year.
To provide an introduction to the history of the house, all attendees will take a tour of areas of the house already opened to the public: the grand rooms on the first floor, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and the Parisian decorator Jules Allard and Sons, as well as the principle bedrooms on the second floor, designed by Boston interior designer Ogden Codman, Jr. Attendees will then choose one of two additional tours that will provide the rare and unique behind-the-scenes opportunity to view the third floor family bedrooms or the servants quarters. All tours will be led by knowledgeable guides from the Preservation Society.
When the last Vanderbilt descendants moved out of The Breakers in 2018, the PSNC was left to decide what the future will hold for the third floor. Following the tours, attendees will be invited to a discussion on the future of the third floor bedrooms and the servants quarters. The discussion will be moderated by Leslie Jones, Curator and Director of Museum Affairs for the Preservation Society of Newport County. Light refreshments will be served during the discussion.
$25 to register
$15 for up to one additional guest
NESAH is a non-profit organization.