Newport Houses

Jane Mulvagh, Author, Roberto Schezen, Author, Jane Mulvaugh, Author
Jane Mulvagh, Author, Roberto Schezen, Author, Jane Mulvaugh, Author Rizzoli International Publications $65 (228p) ISBN 978-0-8478-0912-7
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
The great homes of Newport, R.I., began on a modest scale in the 17th century, befitting settlers in search of religious and political freedom, but during the Victorian era the city's architecture set a standard of fantastic splendor. The grandeur and the excesses are gloriously documented here, from Cornelius Vanderbilt II's Breakers (1893-1895), designed by Richard Morris Hunt after Italian palazzi, to America's first synagogue, Touro (1763). Traversing Greek Revival, Gothic, Stick and Shingle schools and sundry wishfully royal residences flush with industrialists' riches, the houses--inside and out--are revealed on both their human and their monumental scales by Schezen ( Adolf Loos ). The brief text by Mulvagh ( Vogue History of Twentieth Century Fashion ) and historic preservationist Weber successfully intermingles architectural facts with anecdotes about the anointed owners: elderly Mrs. Herman Oelrichs was known to wander about Rosecliff, when no visitors were present, ``reseating her guests over and over again, pressing them to take another ice, one more glass of champagne.'' (Sept.)
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