Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Vanderbilt Mansion and Others Decorate for the Holidays

TREE'S COMPANY: A poinsettia arrangement at the Breakers
mansion. Photo by Bob O'Connor.
Gilded Age titans of industry may have built their fantastical "cottages" in Newport, R.I., for summer socializing, but winter there can be just as magical. 

While some local attractions are closed, three of the city's most storied mansions—the Breakers, the Elms and Marble House—don lavish holiday trimmings and host special events. Properties like these are pretty much what Christmas decorations were made for.

On a recent Saturday night, the Breakers, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1895, served cider and spiked egg nog while an a cappella group in Victorian costume serenaded visitors. In the two-story Great Hall, poinsettias were arranged in a tree that reached toward the gold acorns on the ceiling, symbols of the Vanderbilt family. Other rooms displayed traditional trees, along with gatherings of lilies, carnations and candles. Decadent gingerbread houses, all likenesses of local mansions, were on show in the servants' kitchens.

To see a slideshow of more mansions decorated, visit: http://goo.gl/QePWlF
—Jennifer S. Forsyth, WSJ

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