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The Breakers

44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840-6906
+1 401-847-1000
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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. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century. The Commodore's grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport during that same year. 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, and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.
  • Excellent76%
  • Very good20%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“audio tour” (773 reviews)
“gilded age” (400 reviews)
“own pace” (342 reviews)
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840-6906
+1 401-847-1000
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Reviews (4,418)
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571 - 580 of 4,171 reviews

Reviewed 11 April 2017

I visited the Breakers first, and I'm glad I saw it before the other mansions. It's definitely the most opulent and it gives you a sense of what life was like back in the day.

Thank jessaugusta
Reviewed 10 April 2017 via mobile

Vanderbilt family had it all and surprising let's all of us in on their, style, wealth and secrets. The richest folks of New England really knew how to live and spared no cost. To visit these lavish mansions only remind me of what hard work...More

Thank Dallaspadi
Reviewed 10 April 2017

I thought I had been transported to a castle in Europe. This is a magnificent home, with a very nice self guided tour. You could spend a lot of time here.

Thank Jan M
Reviewed 10 April 2017

i visited during the summer, when the weather adds to the wonder of the place. It is remarkable that such a large and ornate place was built for someone who rarely spent time here. The European rooms that were brought over and installed from France...More

Thank coombsfamily5
Reviewed 10 April 2017

I agree with the previous review that the basement tour is well worth the price. It is fascinating to understand how the mansion embraced early technology.

Thank CarolnRobb
Reviewed 10 April 2017 via mobile

We went to only one of the mansions due to limited time. The audio tour was well done, and the mansion as elaborate as one would think. It is much smaller than Biltmore house in North Carolina, and without the gardens. But still with a...More

Thank lac_11
Reviewed 7 April 2017

The NEW basement tour of how the heat/electric/water systems all worked was incredible. Luckily; for me, I was the only one on a rainy day and got a very personalized tour....The technology at the time this was built is amazing and was the forefront of...More

Thank Mark D
Reviewed 5 April 2017

This was very interesting and about what I expected. It's self-guided; you get a listening device when you check in. From the grounds you can walk along the cliff, too. Or walk the neighborhood; something I always like to do. I also wanted to do...More

Thank DKSeaWA
Reviewed 5 April 2017

Drift back to a simpler time while touring this palatial residence. There is a reason why this landmark is the most popular of all the Newport cottages. Surprisingly extensive gift shop in the basement. Walk the grounds & peer over the Cliff Walk. Can't visit...More

Thank tangohampton
Reviewed 5 April 2017

My husband and I toured the mansion on a rainy day. We did the self guided tour and enjoyed it. The architecture and attention to details in the house are amazing!

Thank PMags331
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Questions & Answers
Sue W
19 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Julie C | Reviewed this property |
No they are not allowed
28 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from aswezey | Reviewed this property |
Sorry for the late response but we bought ticket for the carriage ride tour at 42 per person.
23 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Frank F | Reviewed this property |
I’m not sure. I’d probably contact the Preservation Society for details