With the arrival of spring, The Preservation Society of Newport County is set to open two more of its best-loved properties.
Beginning Saturday, April 1, The Elms will open daily for self-guided audio tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Built between 1899 and 1901 by architect Horace Trumbauer for coal magnate Edward Berwind, this National Historic Landmark was modeled after the 18th-century French Château d’Asnières outside of Paris.
Tickets are already on sale for The Elms Servant Life Tour, a separate guide-led experience that tells the true stories of butlers, cooks, maids and others who labored behind the scenes during Newport’s Gilded Age. The tour is offered twice daily, at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Space is limited and advance ticket purchase is recommended.
Two of the Preservation Society’s other iconic Gilded Age mansions, The Breakers and Marble House, are already open daily for self-guided audio tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Saturday, April 15, Green Animals Topiary Garden will open for the season. Visitors will wander through a magical landscape decorated with topiary giraffes, elephants, ostriches, bears and others. More than 80 boxwood, privet and yew topiaries in the shape of geometric designs and animals populate this historic 7-acre property overlooking Narragansett Bay in Portsmouth, R.I.
Green Animals is also planted with 22,000 daffodils in 70 varieties. In 2019, the property was recognized by the American Daffodil Society as one of 28 official Daffodil Display Gardens in the United States, and one of only three in New England. There is also an array of flowering bulbs, perennials, annuals and shrubs that bloom colorfully throughout the spring, summer and fall.
For the full Newport Mansions operating schedule, go to www.NewportMansions.org and look under “Plan A Visit.” The operating schedule is subject to change.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.