Looking for something out of the ordinary to do during your Rhode Island holiday getaway? Come tour the UnDecked Halls of Rough Point, Doris Duke’s Gilded Age mansion of Newport. December 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 27th, 2017.
Did you know that Rough Point opens up during the holidays for a series of unusual and revealing winter tours? Doris Duke’s oceanfront estate is already one of the more interesting Gilded Age mansions of Newport, RI. Now you can see it as even Doris Duke never did during the annual UnDecked Halls event!
Rough Point is an English Manorial style home. The estate was designed and built in the late 1800’s for Frederick William Vanderbilt. James Buchanan Duke, who made his fortune in electricity and tobacco and was the benefactor of Duke University, bought the estate it in 1922. When he died in 1925, he willed his fortune and properties to his only child, Doris Duke.
Over the years, Rough Point became one of Doris Duke’s favorite residences. The heiress, philanthropist, and art collector filled it with French furniture, Chinese porcelain, Flemish tapestries, and European art. Paintings in the home include works by Gainsborough, Van Dyck, and Renoir. Rough Point remained Miss Duke’s main summer home from 1958 until her death in 1993.
Consequently, Rough Point is unlike most of Newport’s other Gilded Age mansions. Because cottages like Rosecliff have been uninhabited for nearly sixty years, they appear frozen in time and are museum-like. Rough Point, on the other hand, was occupied well into the 1990’s.
Because of this, Rough Point is a unique and entertaining mix of both the grand and the mundane. The house has been kept much as Doris Duke left it: filled with both priceless antiques and items purchased at JC Penney. It is this unique fact which makes Rough Point one of the more unique Newport Gilded Age mansions to tour.
Things become even more interesting during the annual UnDecked Halls tours.
As with most wealthy socialites, Doris Duke spent her holiday seasons well away from Newport, usually in balmy Hawaii. Now you can visit her shrouded and shuttered home as it would have been during one of her annual tropical holidays. Come experience the quiet house and learn how Rough Point’s winter caretaking traditions have remained the same for the past 50 years.
Guests will tour the first floor of the mansion and enjoy refreshments in the decorated staff wing, not normally open to the public. You’ll learn about the history of Newport’s holidays, learn anecdotes about Miss Duke’s two rare Christmases at Rough Point, and hear all about her tropical holidays.
Come enjoy the rare and unique experience of touring a Newport mansion in winter during UnDecked Halls at Rough Point!
The UnDecked Halls of Doris Duke’s Rough Point
Saturdays, December 2, 9, 16 & Wednesday, December 27
Tours run every 1/2 hour, from 10am to 3pm
Rough Point – 680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840
The Rough Point estate will reopen for normal tours on April 5, 2018.
Learn more about the UnDecked Tours and Doris Duke’s Rough Point mansion at www.newportrestoration.org.
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