We had a fantastic tour guide, who explained that John D. Rockefeller wanted this home to be comfortable and much more reserved than the great homes that had been built up in Newport. Initial landscaping was done by Frederick Law Olmsted (he also designed Central Park) but word had it that Rockefeller ended up doing a lot of the design himself, with later help from William Welles Bosworth. The vast estate and grounds occupies about 3,400 acres. The house is stunning and as 1/3 of the estate was given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it opens to the public at certain months and times of the year for tours. A highlight of the home is the art collection which includes Picassos, John Singer Sergeant, Chagall, Warhol and others.
I highly recommend a visit! Be sure to check the website before you go as the tour times change and the estate closes after November 4th. The Rockefeller family still owns 2/3 of the estate, after all, and they use it for family gatherings! I hear they can be seen riding around the property at times in some of the fabulous coaches and carriages!
Here are some photos I snapped last week!
Photos Copyright Melissa Hawks. Photography is not permitted inside the home, so you will just have to plan your own visit! Buy tickets and get information here!