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The house is built in the Italian Renaissance style, and it was designed by the famous architect Richard Morris Hunt, whose magnificent houses can be seen all around Newport to this day. The easy rhythms of the arches on the first story are quickened by the doubled openings of the second story, just as the Doric order employed below is shifted to the Ionic above. Newport was the locale for numerous Hunt buildings, many of which survivel intact; through them we can trace the evolution of his career from his early training in Paris to the mature, fully developed style of his later years, a style that is forcefully expressed in The Breakers, the summer “cottage” he built for Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Here, the central void of a mosaic-tiled loggia is defined by a triple arcade and flanked by end pavilions. Arguably Newport's most famous private house and completed just before Hunt's death in 1895, The Breakers is one of the capstone designs of his professional life, as it embodies lucidly expressed functional planning on a grand scale, a sophisticated vocabulary of sculptural ornament, and Hunt's hallmark European-derived historicism. When it was completed in 1883, the house consisted of just the section closest to West 57th Street, which is the side facing the camera. Recent reinterpretations show that The Breakers reveals much more in its myriad layers of social impact: on the evolving townscape of Newport; on the artisans imported from abroad to execute its ornament and decor, sculpture and furnishings; on the rise of architecture as a profession and its relationship to powerful male and female clients; on the use of new technologies moving toward modern building practices; on the emergent servant corps who oversaw daily life in these large residents; and finally on the way in which the grand mansions reflected, in their construction and imagery, the desires, values, and social structure of the age. Unless otherwise specified, Lost New England does not own or claim rights to any of the historic images used on this site. Hunt produced a number of different designs for the project (the drawings of which still exist), including one version with a French aspect and another, similar to what was eventually constructed, in the style of a sixteenth-century Genoese palazzo. The earlier wood-frame house named The Breakers, which Cornelius Vanderbilt bought in 1885, was radically different from the structure we know today. Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. However, his father died two years later, leaving him in charge of the New York Central Railroad and giving him an inheritance of nearly $70 million, or close to $1.8 billion in today’s dollars. Not surprisingly, given the fate of the original building, the new Breakers was designed with innovative fireproof and technical features, such as Guastavino tile vaulting for some of the porches and steel-frame reinforcement. Each facade is interrupted by significant features, like the broad porte-cochere at the entry, the circular depression of the laundry court off the service wing, and the two-story trellised bay overlooking the formal gardens. Fifth Avenue from 57th Street, New York City, John Adams and John Quincy Adams Birthplaces, Quincy, Mass, Main Street from Monument Square, North Adams, Mass, First Friendly’s Restaurant, Springfield, Mass. SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. However, none of the other mansions rivaled that of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who was the eldest son of William Henry Vanderbilt and the grandson of family patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt. If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it. Many of these images are in the public domain, but some may still be under copyright protection, and are used here under an appropriate license. In a career stretching over three decades, he introduced a number of influential styles, culminating in his elaborately palatial residential designs of the late 1880s and 1890s, upon which his national reputation is based. He put some of this money to use a few years later, when he decided to expand his house and ensure that no other mansion could rival it. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. Vanderbilt then rehired Peabody and Stearns to remodel the property, spending roughly $500,000 more … William H. Jordy et al., "Cornelius Vanderbilt II House (The Breakers)", [Newport, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. In the early 1900s, the Vanderbilts moved into an apartment in New York City - meaning refined people could then live in flats without losing prestige.
What is meant to grab and hold the attention is not spatial invention, but the luxurious combination of variegated stone, detailed carvings, gilded surfaces, and elaborate metalwork on a larger-than-life scale. Ochre Point Ave. (open to the public), Cornelius Vanderbilt II House (The Breakers), Buildings of the United States Book Series, Catherine Lorillard Wolfe House (Vinland), http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-NE139. He was the favorite grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who bequeathed him $5 million, and the eldest son of William Henry "Billy" Vanderbilt (who bequeathed him about $70 million) and Maria Louisa Kissam. https://lostnewengland.com/tag/vanderbilt-houses/. Formal and balanced in its overall plan, the Hunt design adds variety where none might be expected. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-NE139. Two years later, Vanderbilt’s other famous home, The Breakers, was completed. In the early 1890's millionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt II commissioned a block long renovation to his already large New York City mansion ... [Vanderbilt Gate at 5th Avenue and 105th Street.] It was built as a summer home for Cornelius’s beloved grandson Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Published for the Society of Architectural Historians by the University of Virginia Press, © 2013-2020 Society of Architectural Historians. Aug 29, 2020 - Explore William Kopczynski's board "Cornelius Vanderbilt II House" on Pinterest. The earlier wood-frame house named The Breakers, which Cornelius Vanderbilt bought in 1885, was radically different from the structure we know today. William Vanderbilt died in 1885, the world's richest man, with close to $200,000,000.
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