Tag Archives: Salve Regina University

Newport, RI: The top five must-see’s

The Claiborne Pell Bridge, f.k.a Newport Bridge, is the longest suspension bridge in New England.

Newport, RI is the among the most visited cities in the northeastern United States. It is among the most historic towns in the United States. Newport has a whole smorgasbord of sights and activities to keep any tourist busy. What should be visited first? What should be visited second? Here’s the inside scoop to a smooth sailing visit to Newport.

 

The Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant is among the most popular restaurants on Thames Street. It is well visited by Salve Regina students, Salve Regina alumni, and tourists.

5) Thames Street: Thames Street in Newport is not to be missed. Thames Street cuts through the heart of historic Newport. If anyone is looking for restaurants and novelty shops, Thames Street is the place. Among the popular restaurants are the Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant and The Red Parrot. Brick Alley Pub is located near the corner of Thames and Washington Square. The menu is tremendous. The Red Parrot is located on the corner of Memorial Boulevard and Thames Street. If anyone is looking for seafood, The Red Parrot is the place to find it. If anyone is looking for some gourmet fudge, the Newport Fudgery is directly next door.

Fort Adams was built in 1790, named after John Quincy Adams. It is located at the mouth of Newport Harbor.

4) Fort Adams: Fort Adams is the oldest fort in the northeastern United States. Located at the mouth of Newport Harbor, it was built in 1790 to protect Newport against invasions. Fort Adams is protected by more than two hundred guns. Fort Adams was named after former president John Quincy Adams, who was instrumental in starting the War of 1812. Fort Adams was active in all major wars; War of 1812, Spanish-American War, Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Every summer, Fort Adams is the hosting venue of the Newport Jazz Festival.

The Newport Casino is home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

3) International Tennis Hall of Fame: The International Tennis Hall of Fame was established in 1954. In the early twentieth century, the Newport Casino complex was constructed to provide a social club atmosphere for the wealthy and powerful. Unfortunately, the complex struggled from the very beginning. By the 1950s, it was nearly doomed to be demolished. In 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame saved the Newport Casino. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is where the game of tennis is celebrated through the great players who made the game as great as it is today. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is home to tennis greats including Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. It also pays a tribute to the game of tennis and the history behind the game. The class of 2017 inductees are Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Monique Kalkman-van-den Bosch, Steve Flink, and Vic Braden.

Salve Regina University was founded in 1947 by the Sisters of Mercy. Its main building is Ochre Court, built by Richard Morris Hunt circa 1895.

2) Salve Regina University: Salve Regina University was founded in 1947 by the Sisters of Mercy. It all started with one of the most gorgeous mansions in Newport; Ochre Court. Ochre Court was built circa 1895 by real estate investment tycoon Ogden Goelet. In 1947, family heir Robert Goelet donated Ochre Court to the Sisters of Mercy. Salve Regina College was founded. The first commencement was held in May 1951 with sixty-one graduates. All were women. Salve Regina College became a co-ed university in 1980. This Spring 2017, Salve Regina University was named the most beautiful university in Rhode Island and among top fifty in the nation by Travel + Leisure magazine.

The Breakers was built between 1893-95, and the summer cottage of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbuilt.

1) The Breakers: The Breakers is the one mansion which tourists cannot miss. The Breakers is located directly next door to Salve Regina University. Built between 1893-95 by Cornelius Vanderbuilt, it is the largest mansion in Newport. The Breakers is a Renaissance-style Palazzo, inspired by the 16th century palaces in Genoa (Genova), and Turin (Torino), Italy. The Breakers was built with seventy rooms, including thirty rooms on the top floor for servants. The Breakers was designed and built by Richard Morris Hunt. Richard Morris Hunt also designed and built Ochre Court, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. In 1972, the Breakers was purchased by the Newport Historical Society, and presently a National Historic Landmark.

The Opera House Theater was built in 1867. This December, it will be re-opened to the public, fully restored, for its 150th anniversary.

New England is a fun and inspiring area of the United States to visit. There’s Boston, Old Sturbridge Village, Bar Harbor, ME, and Mystic, CT. Of all the great historic cities in the northeastern United States, Newport stands alone as being the most awe-inspiring, educational, and entertaining. It is a breathtaking jewel that captures the human imagination. From bustling Thames Street, to the excitement of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, to the educational aspect of Salve Regina University, to iconic mansions, Newport is a model city for tourists from around the world. There is simply no city in the world like it. Newport is simply, a traveler’s jewel by the sea.

 

Mansion mania: Newport, a living symbol of New England history

If you could think of all of the historic towns you could visit, many come to mind.  There’s Colonial Williamsburg,VA, Old Sturbridge Village, MA, Saratoga Springs, NY, and Hershey, PA.  Every one of these towns share a great assortment of historic techniques, traditions, customs, and depict the old style way of life which we as American citizens were once used to.  Not so anymore.  No town still boasts and maintains its historic charm more than good old Newport, RI.  Newport has a variety of claims to fame.  It is home to the Redwood Library, one of the oldest public libraries in the United States.  It is also home to the Tauro Synagogue, the oldest functioning synagogue in the country.  Above all of that, Newport is remains atop the list in one notable department.  Newport is the home of mansion mania.

I attended Salve Regina University, in Newport, RI.  For four glorious years, I was surrounded by tourists on a weekly basis.  Like the mansions themselves, Salve Regina University is located on one of the many streets connected to famous Bellevue Avenue.  Bellevue Avenue is the main thoroughfare that runs through Newport.  On almost every block, there is a mansion to be visited.  Here are some highlights.  Nearest to the Bellevue shopping area, is the Elms. The Elms was built in 1901 by Pennsylvania coal tycoon Edward Julius Berwind.  The Elms was purchased by the Preservation Society of Newport County in 1962, and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1996.  Further down Bellevue Avenue, is the Marble House.  The Marble House was built between 1888-1892 by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt.  Marble House was much more than just a “cottage” as known by Newporters at the time.  It stood as a social and architectural landmark, a model which set the pace for Newport’s transformation from a colony of wooden houses to a legendary resort of stone palaces.

Aside from The Elms and Marble House, there is another mansion which holds a rather interesting claim to fame.  Rosecliff is truly a mansion to behold.  It was built by the Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs.  It was modeled after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of the Kings of Versailles.  Mrs. Oelrichs held many parties and entertainment events at the mansion, including a performance by the great magician Harry Houdini.  Rosecliff was also the filming site of popular movies including “True Lies” (1994), “The Great Gatsby” (1974), and “Amistad” (1997).

The Breakers is located next door to Salve Regina University. It was built circa 1895 by Ogden Goelet.

The Breakers is located next door to Salve Regina University. It was built circa 1895 by Cornelius Vanderbuilt.

Bellevue Avenue is not the only place to find famous mansions.  There are a lot more located on the side streets east of Bellevue Avenue.  Eight blocks from the Bellevue shopping area, turn onto Ruggles Avenue, towards the ocean.  On your right you will see Carey Mansion, formerly a residence hall of Salve Regina University.  Approximately one hundred yards further down the street at the intersection of Ochre Point Avenue, stands one of the most iconic mansions of all.  On the corner of Ruggles and Ochre Point Avenues stands The Breakers.  The Breakers was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt, whose family fortune was steamships until becoming the chairman and president of the New York Central Railroad.  The New York Central was the one company which played a pivotal part of our country’s economic development in the nineteenth century.  In 1972, The Breakers was purchased by the Preservation Society of Newport County by the family’s heirs.  Today, like The Elms, The Breakers is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Ochre Court was built circa 1895 by Ogden Goelet. Today, it serves as the administrative building for Salve Regina University.

Ochre Court was built circa 1895 by Ogden Goelet. Today, it serves as the administrative building for Salve Regina University.

The Elms, Marble House, Rosecliff, and The Breakers are not the only beautiful landmarks Newport has to offer.  My college alma mater, Salve Regina University, is home to two other mansions.  Both are well-rooted with a rich history of their own.  Continue a few blocks north on Ochre Point Avenue and you will come across Ochre Court.  Ochre Court was built circa 1895, by millionaire Ogden Goelet.  Inside the Great Hall of Ochre Court, the vaulted ceiling will take your breath away.  In 1947, Robert Goelet, the son, donated Ochre Court to the Sisters of Mercy.  That year, the Sisters of Mercy founded Salve Regina College.

Ochre Court's Great Hall is one of the most majestic spaces anywhere. Every December, it is the site of the annual Governor's Ball.

Ochre Court’s Great Hall is one of the most majestic spaces anywhere. Every December, it is the site of the annual Governor’s Ball.

Ochre Court too has had her share of movie screen fame.  Ochre Court was used as a filming location for the movie “True Lies”.  Every first weekend of December, Salve Regina University holds it’s annual Governor’s Ball in Ochre Court’s Great Hall.  The following weekend, the University Chorus and Madrigals hold their Christmas concert.  Their Spring concert is held in the same location. As you listen to them sing, you will easily appreciate how gloriously the sound amplifies throughout the room.  It feels as if you stepped back in time.  The Great Hall begins to sound as if it’s coming to life.  If you want to visit Ochre Court and Newport’s mansions, December is the time to visit.  Select mansions are open to the public during the Christmas season.  They are well-decorated and their historic nature truly shows through.  Mark your calendar. Visit Salve.edu and NewportMansions.org for further information.

Across campus from Ochre Court, is Wakehurst.  Wakehurst is the second oldest building on the Salve Regina University campus.  It was built in 1884 by James J. Van Alen.  He was a man of many talents.  He was a sportsman, a politician, and a member of a well known New York railroad family.  In 1882, Van Alen hired architect Charles Eamer to design the building.  Wakehurst, a stone Tudor mansion, was modeled after the Wakehurst Palace.  Wakehurst Palace is located in the countryside of Essex, England.  Today, Wakehurst serves as Salve Regina University’s student center,  a well-known hangout for the student body and the faculty.

Wakehurst was built in 1884 by James J. Van Alen. Today it serves as Salve Regina University's student center.

Wakehurst was built in 1884 by James J. Van Alen. Today it serves as Salve Regina University’s student center.

The colonial town of Newport, RI is well-rooted in American History.  It’s a hot spot for sailing, fishing, film making, and home to a well-renowned annual jazz festival.  It is also home to a prominent college campus.  Atop all of the history and fame, Newport is the home of mansion mania.  From the ornate style of The Elms, to the artistic charm of the Marble House, to the French style architecture of Rosecliff, and to the grand scale aura of The Breakers, Newport has plenty of charm to offer.  Newport is not just a northeastern town rich in history.  It is a living time capsule and an everyday symbol of our country’s ever-changing lifestyles.