1 This is the stately Elms. Edward Julius Berwind, a coal baron, hired architect Horace Trumbauer to design the Elms and the building was completed in 1901.
2 The Elms is modeled after the mid-eighteenth century French Château d'Asnières in Asnières-sur-Seine, France. This limestone cottage has a rounded central section flanked by wings of equal size - a simple plan of balanced proportions.
3 This is one of the copper roofed marble teahouses or pavilions overlooking the Sunken Garden.
4 The beautiful Sunken Garden is planted with hundreds of pink and white begonias and miniature boxwood hedges.
5 There are magnificent statues everywhere, including the rooftop.
6 I was fascinated by the marble sphinxes flanking the front entrance.
7 The gardens are magnificent.
8 And so is this stately European Fernleaf Beech - Fagus sylvatica 'Asplenifolia' - Native to Europe - Height: 50 - 60 ft.
9 As is this fountain
10 We walked around the expansive grounds for a bit.
11 Another amazing fountain
12 Like the house itself, the grounds of The Elms were designed in French 18th-century taste.
13 Another wonderful statue
14 Here I am with our guides - Trudy Coxe, CEO of the Preservation Society and John Tschirch, Director of Museum Affairs.
15 Passing through the ornate glass and wrought iron doors, you enter a foyer with Ionic columns of Italian breccia marble. The Grand Staircase has white marble steps and a wrought iron and bronze railing.
16 A better look at that breccia marble
17 The Elms mansion measures 60,000 square feet and contains 48 rooms. This is the Library with its dark wood and red silk walls.
18 Edward Julius Berwind and his wife, Herminie, enjoyed entertaining at The Elms until Herminie's death in 1922. This is the conservatory.
19 After his wife's death, Edward asked his sister, Julia, to act as his hostess at The Elms. This is a highly ornamented 19th-century marble urn adorned with full-relief satyrs, cherubs, and sphynxes.
20 Edward and Herminie had no heirs and when Edward died, Julia inherited The Elms.
21 In the ballroom hangs a Giovanni Boldini - Portrait of Elizabeth Drexel Lehr, flanked by ormolu wall sconces.
22 The ballroom is adorned with elaborate white stucco relief decorations. The ceiling medallion features winged cherubs and the Baccarat crystal chandelier is original to the room.
23 The Ballroom is the largest room in the mansion, measuring 41' x 49' x 19'. This gold piano is a Steinway circa 1900.
24 Julia, the sister, was unmarried and also had no heirs, and she bequeathed The Elms to her nephew. He, in turn, sold the house and 90% of its contents.
25 The richly paneled dining room - The mantel and overmantel is constructed of agate, onyx, and marble and a bust occupies the overmantel niche.
26 The dining room was designed by Parisian decorator Jules Allard as a backdrop for a collection of early 18th century Venetian paintings.
27 Julia Berwind summered at The Elms until her death at the age of 96 in 1961. In 1962, The Elms was slated for demolition when friends of The Preservation Society of Newport County raised money to buy it. Plus, 50% of the original contents of the house has now been returned.
28 One of the upstairs bedrooms
29 Another bedroom
30 An upstairs bathroom - It's interesting to note that The Elms was one of the first Newport homes to have electricity.
31 More of the bathroom
32 Another bathroom
33 I was very impressed with this linen press. The chambermaids washed and changed all the sheets and linens everyday.
34 This is the sewing room.
35 Fire hoses are mounted throughout the building.
36 We climbed the back staircase to get to the top-floor staff quarters. This and all of the work areas of the mansion were purposefully hidden from view.
37 The Elms had a large staff and their quarters were concealed on the top floor of the house. There are 13 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms to support a summer staff of more than 40, working around the clock, particularly when the Berwinds were hosting an event.
38 One of the staff bathrooms
39 The servants' quarters opens onto a roof deck where tour goers can step out. The rooftop view of the mansion's 10-acre grounds and of Newport Harbor beyond was breathtaking!
40 We then descended into the deep cellar where the kitchen, laundry, and other workrooms were concealed. Many, many sumptuous meals were prepared on this massive stove. Like other prominent Newport families, the Berwinds hosted 2 or 3 dinner parties each week for 50 to 60 people.
41 A large wash sink and drainage board for dishes, pots, and pans
42 The sheets and linens were hand-washed in large wash tubs and hung in a drying room.
43 They were then pressed by hand on big ironing tables with heavy irons.
44 Also in the cellar is a railroad track that travels through a tunnel leading to the street where coal was delivered.
45 Coming out of the tunnel, the car rolled onto a turntable.
46 The turntable turned the car.
47 The coal was rolled and fed into these massive boilers.
48 This photo shows how deep the cellar is.