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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Bockhold

The Breakers

The Breakers is a Newport mansion, and was the summer home of the Vanderbilt family. It was a giant home, and had 40 servants just to keep it running. One of the facts about the mansion that I found especially interesting was that it was largely a home maintained by and used for the women in the family. It was used for coming out parties, weddings, and other social events. The house was wildly opulent, and almost all the walls were highlighted with gold leaf. There was also a lot of beautiful metal work through out the house.

Besides the metal work, the house was generally just crazy to look at! I've never been in a house that used gold and platinum(most expensive metal in the world at the time) for wallpaper. The ceilings were some of the grandest that I have seen in a private residence. These were not made for the general public to come in and see, they were made for the family, and the guests of the family to bask in the wealth. The house ended up being a public destination because the upkeep became too much for a single family to afford. The conservation society was able to buy it for significantly less than it was worth, but I'm glad they did. It is a really interesting look at the style and opulence of the time period.

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