More than a century ago, Bellevue Avenue in Newport, R.I., was a summer retreat for many prominent families.
The socialites of the day, including members of the Vanderbilt, Astor, and Morgan families, built extravagant mansions filled top to bottom with Gilded Age grandeur, according to newport-discovery-guide.com.
Now, two of the mansions from those days are up for sale, while a third estate offers buyers the opportunity to own a fairly new home that looks as if it dates to those days.
Check them out:
5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 1 half bath, 6,929 square feet
A blend of Shingle and Queen Anne styles, this home sits on nearly two acres and has its original fireplaces with their marble and tile surrounds.
Built in 1877, the home features a great hall with intricate woodwork and a three-story-high ceiling, according to the listing agent, Kylie McCollough of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty. Ornate tile brightens an entryway with a carved-oak staircase.
In a nod to modern living, the home has central air, bathroom floors with radiant heat, a clay tennis court, and a gunite pool, according to the listing.
Built for Charles H. Baldwin, a Navy admiral who served in the Civil War, the property gets its nickname, “Snug Harbor,” from the Sailors’ Snug Harbor retirement home for naval war heroes in Staten Island, N.Y.
The home hasn’t been sold publicly in 70 years, McCollough noted. It was owned by Roger Williams University, which received it as a gift. The current owners rented it for a time before the university decided to sell to them.
7 bedrooms, 6 full baths, two half baths, 9,803 square feet
Nicknamed “Quatrel,” this home has been fully renovated and restored, according to the listing agent, Kathleen Kirby Greenman of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty.
The home “was so neglected that it was one of those buildings that was borderline beyond repair,” Jerry Kirby, partner in Kirby Perkins Construction, told the Globe in 2015. “We peeled the whole house back like an onion and put it back together.”
All of the old windows were rebuilt, and the lead paint was removed. The home now has geothermal heating and cooling, Greenman said.
Although the home includes a modern kitchen and updated systems, many of the Gilded Age features remain, including the plaster work, which the current owners had restored, according to a brochure from when the home won a Doris Duke Historic Preservation Award in 2015.
The home also has its original claw-foot bathtubs and marble-topped vanities. The marble fireplace mantels and plaster work details also remain — they were designed by Edith Wharton friend Ogden Codman Jr. when the home was enlarged and remodeled, going from the Italianate villa style to Classical Revival in 1903, according to the listing. The addition was done by architect Dudley Newton.
The property also has a two-bedroom carriage house.
Quatrel was originally built in 1853 for Earl P. Mason, who worked in the wholesale drug industry before becoming president of Rhode Island National Bank, according to the listing. After passing through several owners’ hands, Quatrel was sold to Louis and Elaine Lorillard, who gave the home its nickname based on the four Ls in Louis Lorillard’s name.
The couple created the Newport Jazz Festival; the home hosted a party opening night during the 1954 festival, including some of the musicians, according to an excerpt from the book “Backstory in Blue: Ellington at Newport ’56.”
The home sits on 1.24 acres.
5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 3 half baths, 6,980 square feet
Although this home is young, having been built in 2006, it fits right in with its Gilded Age neighbors.
The Southern European-style home is on 1.23 acres, according to the listing agent, Elena Wilcox of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty.
The first floor features 20-foot-high ceilings, Wilcox said.
The home also has six fireplaces, master suites on the first and second floors, a four-car garage, an artist studio, a second-floor family room with a kitchenette, and a walkout basement.
She said the owners followed the advice of the historic district commission when they made updates.
“Each bedroom has its own bathroom and a large walk-in closet,” she said. “You can’t find that in an old house.”