Belcourt of Newport, Newport

2.6
Belcourt is a former summer cottage designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt for Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont and located on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Construction was begun in 1891 and completed in 1894, and it was intended to be used for only six to eight weeks of the year. Belcourt was designed in a multitude of European styles and periods; it features a heavy emphasis on French Renaissance and Gothic decor, with further borrowings from German, English, and Italian design. In the Gilded Age, the castle was noted for its extensive stables and carriage areas, which were incorporated into the main structure.
Located on Bellevue Avenue at Lakeview Avenue, Belcourt was designed by Richard Morris Hunt for thirty-three-year-old Oliver Belmont who was divorced from Sara Swan Whiting and the father of a daughter, Natica, whom he denied paternity to, during the construction of his 50,000 square foot (4,600 m²), 60 room summer villa. Based on the Louis XIII hunting lodge at Versailles, Belcourt incorporated Oliver's love of pageantry, history and horses in its magnificent interior halls, salons and ballrooms. The Belmont Stakes was named for his father and he was known for his skill as a four-in-hand carriage driver. Belmont wanted Belcourt designed precisely to his specifications. Hunt was hesitant, but he concentrated on his guiding principle that it was his client's money he was spending. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million in 2011 dollars. Belmont employed some thirty servants at Belcourt, with aggregate wages of approximately $100 per week.
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Belcourt of Newport Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
59 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Bill was very engaging and I didn’t want the tour to end. He had a real knowledge of the history of the house and had a passion for the house. He explained many minor details of the house and could an...  more »
  • Haven't been here for a visit for some years...I applaud the new owners for saving an important part of Newport architectural history; it's clear that the (thus far) 6+ year restoration is a labor of ...  more »
Google
  • What a special treat! Newly opened for part time tours, this was amazing. Our (just 4 of us!)tour guide, Bill, was knowledgeable, energetic and very enthusiastic. He has been on the restoration team and provided fascinating stories about Belcourt through the years. A new 'must see' in Newport. Thank you to all who are part of the Belcourt team.
  • Great walking tour, but you only get to see a half of the property.

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