Saturday, August 3, 2013

Beaulieu Floor Plans

The recently found ground floor plan of 'Beaulieu' cottage
in Newport, RI. 'Beaulieu' was originally the estate of 
William Waldorf Astor. After the infamous feud with his
New York Society queen aunt Caroline Astor ~ who 
spent her summers in nearby 'Beechwood' ~ he sold the estate.
The property ended up being rented by Cornelius and Grace
Vanderbilt. 'Beaulieu' was Mr Vanderbilt's favorite home, where he spent his time away from his yacht. The Vanderbilts purchased the home outright and Grace summered there every season. After Mrs Vanderbilt's death in 1954, he son sold the estate.

Mrs Grace Vanderbilt ~ The Queenly Kingfisher

The estate then fell into complete and awful despair. The estate was rotting all over and was completely unrecognized. Then one day Wiley T Buchanan, Chief of Protocol for President Eisenhower, and his wife Ruth were walking along the Cliff Walk with a friend who lived at 'Clarendon Court' and they came upon the ruined beauty. Buchanan, after touring the house the next day, told his wife "We must buy this house". They purchased the home and resorted the beauty; Summering at the estate every season. Today, Mrs Buchanan ~ now remarried ~ Ruth Buchanan Wheeler ~ still lives at the estate. 


  1. It's almost the same house as BA's Canottieri Italiani Club.
    It was a house before.
    Floorplan is exactly the same although veranda was closed and beaux arts details destroyed!

  2. The house was originally built originally in 1859 by the Peruvian merchant, Federico Barreda, who made his money in the 1850s guano trade. It was designed by architect Calvert Vaux, who also designed Beechwood for Daniel Parrish, and the name was Beaulieu was supposedly suggested by one of the Astors, who were friendly with the Barredas. I'm not sure what they mean when they say the floor plans were recently found. These plans were published in Vaux's book "Villas and Cottages" and have been available at any library ever since. The house is still beautiful and well kept, but I can't help but wish some more of the original Victorian features had been saved, particularly the porches, if only to know what the original owners experienced when they moved in.


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