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Chateau-sur-Mer, Newport

4.2
#8 of 17 in Historic Sites in Newport
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 is somewhat Greek Revival in style, but with posts modeled after Egyptian obelisks.
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Chateau-sur-Mer Reviews
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348 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • I thought this mansion was interesting because it was one of the oldest Newport mansions. Different parts of the mansion were in different styles. Make sure you ask about the antique fire extinguisher...  more »
  • There is a guided tour of this house; however, there wasn't a strict/reliable schedule. It seemed to be based on waiting for a certain number of people before doing a tour. The tour guide was very kno...  more »
  • I don't know about all the tour guides but we had an excellent tour of the mansion. The guide was engaging, informative and knowledgeable of the history of the mansion and Newport.  more »
Google
  • Good experience, smaller mansion compared to Breakers or Marble House. Still had alot of good history and had a very knowledgable tour guide. Is a guided tour only.
  • Smaller in comparison to other mansions but still a great mansion. Do take audio tour to know about the history of this mansion.
  • One of the gilded age mansions in Newport. Not as well known as some (e.g., the Breakers, Marble House, and Rosecliff), we really liked it because in addition to seeing the decadent turn of the century architecture and decor, you get to see some of the more utilitarian facilities, including the hot and cold kitchen, staff hall, three-story butler's pantry, and the service entrance.
  • Guided tours are very informative. The grounds around the mansion hold many unique trees and shrubs. Very cool place to tour, and far less crowded than the Breakers.
  • Absolutely brilliant spot. A must if you enjoy gilded-era architecture. Get the 5-mansion pass for best effect. Prices reasonable.
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