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“Historic and over-the-top conspicuous consumption”
Review of The Breakers

The Breakers
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$37.50*
and up
Private Historic Newport Pedicab Tour
Ranked #1 of 119 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century. The Commodore's grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport during that same year. In 1893, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire the previous year. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Allard and Sons of Paris assisted Hunt with furnishings and fixtures, Austro-American sculptor Karl Bitter designed relief sculpture, and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.
Reviewed July 10, 2014

We felt it illustrated a particular era in American history but could have been just as happy if we had missed this attraction. The Vanderbilt's lifestyle and use of gold everywhere was a far cry from the lives around them. It was interesting to drive by the mansions and see them from the car or to walk in the beautiful gardens.

Thank Barbara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,239 - 3,243 of 4,609 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2014 via mobile

The Breakers mansion is xtremely impressive on the inside. Platinum and gold everywhere with exquisite detail. The tour is self guided. You have to where a headset do listen the the recording that tells you about each room. This I'm not a fan of. On the outside the views of the house an ocean are amazing

Thank 268Arthur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2014

Incredible...American "Royalty" at its most opulent. The self-guided tour was very comprehensive detailing rich history and drawing you into the social scene of this gilded age. Catch the children's playhouse which is separate from the main house, really puts things into perspective.

Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

In the US there aren't any castles or monarchy as are found in Europe so this is the closest thing to seeing the way very wealthy people live up close in America; awesome preservation & well worth your time. Combine w/ the servants tour at the Elms to get the full scope of these magnificent buildings and the complex work that went into keeping the houses going, the audio tour helped to go faster or slower at your own pace

Thank Gwen V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

This was an amazing look at how the other half (or the 1%) lived in our country's Gilded Age. The sheer size of the wrought iron gates as you approach the entrance is breathtaking. When you enter the home, it's hard to know where to look first. There is something incredible in every direction. The tour is an audio one which works out for us because we can take our time looking at all there is to see. There was extra information you could get by typing in certain numbers on your listening device. Everything on the first floor was just over the top to the point of being awfully ostentatious. Of course, the view from the back that overlooked the large yard and the ocean was amazing! It is definitely worth the time to see how people lived and how they decorated their homes back then. It's too bad that they won't let you take any pictures.

Thank 14Art14Trout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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