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Chateau-sur-Mer, Newport

(4.2/5 based on 280+ reviews on the web)
Chateau-sur-Mer is the first of the grand Bellevue Avenue mansions of the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island. Located at 424 Bellevue Avenue, it is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County, and is open to the public as a museum. Chateau-sur-Mer's grand scale and lavish parties ushered in the Gilded Age of Newport, as it was the most palatial residence in Newport until the Vanderbilt houses in the 1890s. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.Description and historyChateau-sur-Mer was completed in 1852 as an Italianate villa for William Shepard Wetmore, a merchant in the China trade, who was born on January 26, 1801, in St. Albans, Vermont. The architect and builder was Seth C. Bradford; the structure is a landmark of Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. Mr. Wetmore died on June 16, 1862, at Chateau-sur-Mer, leaving the bulk of his fortune to his son, George Peabody Wetmore. George later married Edith Keteltas in 1869. During the 1870s, the Wetmores departed on an extended trip to Europe, leaving architect Richard Morris Hunt to remodel and redecorate the house in the French Second Empire style. As a result, Chateau-sur-Mer displays most of the major design trends of the last half of the 19th century. The house is constructed of Fall River Granite. Hunt's alterations greatly expanded the house, adding a new three-story wing, a porte-cochere, and a projecting four-story tower with mansard roof. The carriage house was also enlarged, in a manner sympathetic to Bradford's original design. Hunt also designed the entrance gate of the estate, which are somewhat Greek Revival in style, but with posts modeled after Egyptian obelisks.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Unlike many of the other Newport mansions, Chateau-sur-Mer was heavily renovated and added on to over the years, and it is somewhat disjointed on the inside as a result. Perhaps it was the generally d...  more »
  • During a wonderful recent visit to Newport, My husband and I were fortunate to tour the Chateau-sur-Mar just before it closed for the winter. The tour was extensive, and our knowledgeable guide provid...  more »
  • Excellent tour through this beautiful pre-Gilded Age home. Penney, our tour guide, was informative and gave us a different perspective on the house, the history, and the architecture. It was nice to h...  more »
Google
  • Definitely worth seeing! Amazing woodwork throughout the home with a unique look compared with the other mansions in town. Very informative guided tour.
  • Amazing house. Each of the rooms were beautifully decorated with gorgeous woodwork, furnishings and rich wall coverings. A great contrast from the over-the-top gilded mansions
  • Fascinating and very well preserved house. Tour guide was very knowledgeable and had lots of interesting anecdotes about the house and it's previous occupants.
  • Beautiful old mansion. Concerts are in the tent outside. Acoustics are good. Out house is spectacular - many people commented it was better than their house bathrooms.
  • Dark and it was boring for me. Waste so much time, tours with audio headsets are much better.