"Marble House" Top 5 Page for this destination Rhode Island Things to Do Tip by traveldave

Rhode Island Things to Do: 66 reviews and 87 photos


Designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, Marble House helped spark the transformation of Newport from a quiet backwater of wooden summer homes to the opulent resort of marble and stone palaces that marked the Gilded Age.

The mansion was built by William Kissam Vanderbilt, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, an industrialist and philanthropist who was one of the richest Americans in history. He made his fortune in shipping and railroads. The Beaux Arts mansion was constructed between 1888 and 1892. It was modeled after Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon at Versailles, and contains formal gardens, designed by landscape architect Ernest Bowditch, that were based on those at Versailles.

Upon its completion, Vanderbilt gave Marble House to his wife, Alva Erskine Vanderbilt, for her 39th birthday. She called it her "temple of the arts" and used it for lavish parties. In later years, she built a replica of a Chinese tea house at the top of the cliffs overlooking the ocean in the mansion's backyard.

Marble House has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Directions: Marble House is located at 596 Bellevue Avenue, in Newport.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 8, 2012
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