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Winter 12-1967


The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Cornelius Vanderbilt II purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport. In 1893, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire the previous year. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Allard and Sons of Paris assisted Hunt with furnishings and fixtures, Austro-American sculptor Karl Bitter designed relief sculpture. Novelist Edith Wharton and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.


Bibliography: Jordy, William H, Ronald J. Onorato, and William M. K. Woodward. "Buildings of Rhode Island." Oxford: New York, 2004. p. 561-562.; Yarnall, James L. "Newport Through Its Architecture: A History of Styles from Postmedieval to Postmodern." Newport, R.I: Salve Regina University Press in association with University Press of New England, Hanover and London, 2005. p. 141-144

Creator 1 Role


Creator 2 Dates


Creator 2 Role


Building Type


Building Style

Renaissance Revival

Subject Headings

Historic buildings – Rhode Island -- Newport; Newport (RI) – Buildings, structures, etc; The Breakers Mansion (RI); Space (Architecture) – Rhode Island -- Newport;

Country Name

United States

Region Name

Rhode Island

City Name


Street Address

44 Ochre Point Avenue


The Breakers; mansions; Newport; historic buildings;