The Elms, 367 Bellevue Ave., is a neoclassical mansion designed by American architect Horace Trumbauer and built in 1901 as a summer residence for Edward J. Berwind, the king of America's coal industry. The mansion, based on the 18th-century Château d'Asnières near Paris, houses lavish 18th-century French antique furniture and Venetian paintings.
The large proportions of the rooms, especially the entrance hall and ballroom, are awe-inspiring. Noteworthy are the Louis XVI drawing room and the Chinese breakfast room, with lacquered panels that date from the K'ang Hsi period.
Bronze and marble statuary, fountains, terraces and gazebos embellish the well-tended grounds; rare trees and shrubs are labeled. The formal sunken gardens are reminiscent of 18th-century France. The house is decorated for the holidays mid-November through January 1. The guided Servant Life Tour includes a visit to the servant's quarters, basement kitchens, laundry rooms, coal cellar and a rooftop view (weather permitting) of the estate and Newport Harbor. A main house audio tour is available.
Note: The Servant Life tour includes a walk up an 82-step staircase; comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Guided tours are available.
$15.99; $6.99 (ages 6-17). Servant Life Tour $15; $5 (ages 6-17). Multi-house tickets are available. Phone ahead to confirm rates.
Get $2 off adult admission and $1 off youth admission when presenting a valid AAA card upon arrival.
Hours: Tours daily 9-6, mid-Mar. through mid-Oct.; 9-4, Dec. 24; daily 9-5, rest of year. Servant Life Tour schedule varies; phone ahead. Last tour begins 1 hour before closing. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Phone ahead to confirm schedule.