Newport Cottages: 1835-1890 The Summer Villas Before the Vanderbilt Era

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A compelling account of the luxury and splendor of Newport's nineteenth-century summer “cottages.”

In his latest contribution to America's architectural record, Michael C. Kathrens gives house enthusiasts a superbly visual and informative book on Newport's early resort architecture.

The nineteenth century was an incredibly vibrant period in Newport, Rhode Island's, rich architectural history. Opulent private houses―or summer “cottages” as they were known―populated the seaside resort half a century before the rise of the European Revival behemoths of the late 1880s and 1890s. The luxury and splendor of many of these earlier homes often rivaled the sumptuousness of the later “Gilded Age” mansions.

In the decades since 1835, when the first private house was built exclusively for seasonal use, scores of magnificent homes were commissioned by a burgeoning summer colony whose members were among America's wealthiest and most prominent families, including the Schermerhorns, Lorillards, Goelets, and Joneses. They built their summer residences in neighborhoods known today as Kay-Catherine-Old Beach Road, Bellevue Avenue, Ochre Point, and Ocean Drive, commissioning local talents such as George Champlin Mason Sr., Seth C. Bradford, and Dudley Newton as well as nationally renowned architects such as Richard Morris Hunt, McKim, Mead & White, and Peabody & Stearns. These exceptional houses showcased new architectural expressions and displayed the mastery of those who designed them.

The scope of this volume―the prequel to Newport Villas: The Revival Styles, 1885–1935, Kathrens's first book on Newport residential architecture―extends beyond 1890, providing ownership histories of each of the thirty-six houses profiled, including Cannon Hill, Chateau-sur-Mer, Elm Court, Beaulieu, Land's End, the original Breakers, Ochre Point, and Chastellux as well as visual documentation of later renovations. Rare late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century interior images reflect a shift in fashion from the exuberant Victorian to a cleaner, more classical style that led to the Edwardian elegance of many of the later renovations by architects such as Horace Trumbauer, Ogden Codman Jr., and Francis L. V. Hoppin.

Stunning archival and newly commissioned photography, architectural renderings, and floor plans aid in fully conveying the remarkable legacy of Newport's majestic cottages built before 1890, presented comprehensively for the first time.

Hardcover, 400 pages.

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