BlogThe Breakers Ticket: A Glimpse into Newport's Gilded Age

The Breakers Ticket: A Glimpse into Newport’s Gilded Age

Tucked away in the charming coastal town of Newport, Rhode Island, lies a testament to America’s Gilded Age – The Breakers Mansion. This grandiose structure, built in the late 19th century, was once the summer residence of the Vanderbilt family, one of the wealthiest and most influential families in the United States. Today, the Breakers Mansion is a National Historic Landmark and a popular tourist attraction, with the Breakers ticket granting visitors access to a world of opulence and extravagance.
A Brief History of the Vanderbilt Family
The Vanderbilt family’s rise to prominence began with Cornelius Vanderbilt, a successful shipping and railroad magnate. His grandson, Cornelius II, built the Breakers Mansion in 1895 as a summer retreat for his family. The mansion was designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt and took two years to complete, with a staggering construction cost of $12 million (approximately $375 million in today’s dollars).
The Breakers Mansion: A Symbol of Luxury
The Breakers Mansion is an awe-inspiring example of French Renaissance architecture, with 70,000 square feet of living space spread across five floors. The mansion boasts 15 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, and 14 sitting rooms, each meticulously designed to showcase the Vanderbilt family’s wealth and status. From the grand entrance hall with its 50-foot ceiling to the exquisite furnishings and artwork, every aspect of the mansion exudes luxury and refinement.
What to Expect with a Breakers Ticket
A Breakers ticket grants visitors access to a self-guided tour of the mansion, allowing them to explore the Vanderbilt family’s private quarters, public rooms, and even the servants’ quarters. Some of the highlights include:
  • The opulent Great Hall, adorned with gilded details and a 16th-century Flemish tapestry
  • The Music Room, featuring a stunning Gothic-style organ and intricate carvings
  • The Library, housing a vast collection of rare books and manuscripts
  • The Dining Room, where the Vanderbilt family entertained lavishly
  • The Second Floor, showcasing the family’s private bedrooms and sitting rooms
Beyond the Mansion: Exploring Newport’s Gilded Age
A Breakers ticket also provides access to the grounds and gardens, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding coastline. Visitors can stroll through the beautifully manicured lawns, explore the walking trails, and enjoy the scenic vistas.
In addition to the Breakers Mansion, Newport is home to several other Gilded Age mansions, including Marble House, Rosecliff, and Chateau-sur-Mer. Visitors can purchase a combination ticket to explore these additional properties, gaining a deeper understanding of the era’s architecture, art, and culture.
The Breakers ticket is more than just an admission pass – it’s a key to unlocking the secrets of America’s Gilded Age. The Breakers Mansion is a testament to the Vanderbilt family’s wealth and status, but it also offers a glimpse into the lives of the people who built and maintained these grand estates. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique experience, the Breakers ticket is an opportunity to step into a bygone era of luxury and extravagance.
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