Relive the past at Astor's Beechwood Mansion, home to both John Jacob Astor IV, who died on board the RMS Titanic, and ... More
Astors' Beechwood Mansion
Relive the past at Astor's Beechwood Mansion, home to both John Jacob Astor IV, who died on board the RMS Titanic, and Caroline Astor, creator of the first American social register. Visit the oceanfront mansion and learn about the grand 1890s lifestyle of the Astor family who came to live in Newport during the Victorian era and interact with Beechwood Theatre Company actors portraying staff, friends and family of the Astors. A range of productions, tours, and dancing are offered, see website for details.
My daughter had her wedding here and it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone was very professional and very helpful with the preparations. Everyone loved having the desserts and coffee in the separate room. The orchestra we had was great. The food was superb and the setting was beautiful. The only disappointing part was that is poured rain and we were unable to have the hors d'oeuvres outside.
Beechwood is a privately-owned business that conducts rather contrived tours given by young people in costume who pretend to be members of the Astor family or their servants. Overall it felt like an attempt at amateur theater.
We took the normal daytime tour and were disappointed that the dining room was closed for our tour because it had just been used for a private luncheon. This home does not contain original furnishings nor have the grounds been restored to anything like their original condition. Most interesting to me was the kitchen (which did contain the original stove).
Compared to the tours given by the Newport Preservation Society, this one is lacking any solid information. We paid $12 each for admission (a “senior” discount from the normal $15) and it was certainly not worth twice the admission to a Newport Preservation Society home ($31 for 5 homes, or about $6 per home).
There is a spectacular view from the grounds in the rear of the house. But you don’t have to pay for the tour to see this. It is directly on the Cliff Walk and the back gate to the home is open to the public, so you can walk around the grounds for free from Cliff Walk
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