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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

Rosecliff Mansion
Visiting Rosecliff Mansion
Another day, another Newport Mansion. 
Wish I could say that every day. 

There is something so lovely about the history and stories behind these mansions.  They are like real life fairy tails right in your back yard(ish).  These beautiful European Mansions on a Rhode Island coastline.  While The Breakers is the most famous of the Newport Mansions, the others are beautiful, grand, and very unique. 

Rosecliff Mansion
Rosecliff Mansion
Let's talk about Rosecliff.  

Fun Facts
  • built 1898-1902
  • Architect: Stanford White of McKim, Mead & Whitet
  • snow-white terra cotta mansion
  • Heart shaped stair case
  • Newport's largest ballroom
  • Rent-able venue for weddings and events 
  • 6.5 acres
  • 65,000 sq foot summer home
  • 70 rooms 
  • Sfrom several films have been shot on location at Rosecliff, including The Great GatsbyTrue Lies, Amistad and 27 Dresses.

"Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles. After the house was completed in 1902, at a reported cost of $2.5 million (then), Mrs. Oelrichs hosted fabulous entertainments here, including a fairy tale dinner and a party featuring famed magician Harry Houdini (there were even swans in the fountain!). 

Heart shaped staircase, Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island 

Ballroom in the Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island
 The ballroom is the largest ballroom in Newport and a popular wedding destination.  I can only imagine how gorgeous this mansion was in the early 1900's when all of the doors were opened up to create an open air space with views of the ocean.  The ceiling was also painted like the sky to give the feeling of being outside. 

Dining Room in the Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island. 

""Tessie", as she was known to her friends, was born in Virginia City, Nevada. Her father, James Graham Fair, was an Irish immigrant who made an enormous fortune from Nevada's Comstock silver lode, one of the richest silver finds in history. During a summer in Newport, Theresa met Hermann Oelrichs playing tennis at the Newport Casino. They were married in 1890. A year later, they purchased the property known as Rosecliff from the estate of historian and diplomat George Bancroft. 

An amateur horticulturist, it was Bancroft who developed the American Beauty Rose. The Oelrichs later bought additional property along Bellevue Avenue and commissioned Stanford White to replace the original house with the mansion that became the setting for many of Newport's most lavish parties. 

Rosecliff is now preserved through the generosity of its last private owners, Mr. and Mrs. J. Edgar Monroe, of New Orleans. They gave the house, its furnishings, and an endowment to the Preservation Society in 1971". 

--Preservation Society of Newport County 

First floor layout of the Rosecliff Mansion

Rosecliff has a live walking tour, not an audio tour like The Breakers.  I enjoyed the tour and the historian was very knowledgeable in the mansion.  I have to say I did prefer the audio tour at The Breakers, as I could take my time and hear extra tid bits about the mansion and the family.

 One disappointing fact I discovered during the Rosecliff tour, was that none of the furniture or paintings in the house were original to it.  The contents of the house had been auctioned off earlier on and everything in the house currently was not original to Rosecliff.  

Rosecliff Mansion

Rosecliff Mansion

Rosecliff Mansion
Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island 

Rosecliff Mansion
Rosecliff mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

Rosecliff Mansion
Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

Rosecliff is one of the mansions that is available to rent out for private functions and weddings.  The largest ballroom in Newport and a heart shaped staircase makes this mansion a popular wedding destination. 

I did some internet searching for prices and got some varying answers-  For JUST the space, tables, chairs, and staff (flowers, catering, bar, decor, photographer, rehearsal, none of that included)  2011-  Saturday $19,500, Friday Sunday $10,500.  Someone stated their friend spent $80,000 when it was all said and done.   

One Property- excluding the Hunter House, is $15.99.
  Any 5 mansions for $32.99.
 Breakers Plus (Breakers and one mansion) for $25.99. 

Next time I am in Newport, I will have to tour the other mansions.  
Chateau-sur-Mer, The Elms, Marble House, The Servant Life Tour, The Hunter House, Green Animals Topiary Garden, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote, Chepstow

So many mansions... so little time. 


  1. Oh my god, the Great Gatsby is my favorite story of all time, and one of my favorite movies, I would LOVE to go there one day! Looks so stunning.

    XO Naomi in Wonderland

    1. If you loved the movie you will absolutely fall in LOVE with these mansions! I want to read every book written about this era now! So fun

  2. Wow, the venue is looking wonderful. Do people hire this place for their wedding as well? I also got married at similar Hollywood venues, had a great time and also made some beautiful memories too.

    1. Yes! This is one of the mansions you can rent out for a wedding venue. now that has to be a high price tag!


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