Prepare yourself for Season 2 of HBO’s “The Gilded Age” by experiencing a special guided tour through locations in the Newport Mansions where scenes for the popular historical drama were filmed.
For a limited time, The Preservation Society of Newport County is offering an exclusive “Inside ‘The Gilded Age’” tour, a 3½-hour experience at The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and Chateau-sur-Mer. The tour is offered once on Fridays starting May 12 and is limited to a maximum of 12 people.
“They add a kind of luster to the program that we would be the poorer without,” said Julian Fellowes, creator of “Downton Abbey” and “The Gilded Age,” when asked about filming scenes at the Newport Mansions. “We very much benefited from that.”
The tour guide will show multiple rooms that appeared in the series and offer insights into the real people who lived in these mansions, some of whom inspired characters in “The Gilded Age.” Visitors also will learn what is involved for the Newport Mansions to host a major television production.
At The Elms, visitors will see the kitchen where the Russells’ household staff works and gossips as well as Gladys Russell’s bedroom. Then it’s on to Marble House to see Mr. Russell’s bedroom; the grand bedroom that was the inspiration for Bertha Russell’s room; and the kitchen in Mrs. Astor’s house through which Bertha made a hasty escape.
During a stop at Chateau-sur-Mer, the exterior of which was used as Mrs. Astor’s Newport cottage, visitors can inspect multiple locations where scenes were filmed, including the distinctive stair hall with its “Tree of Life” mural and the dining room and ballroom where Mrs. Fish’s doll tea party was held. The tour will also show Agnes van Rhijn’s bedroom, Oscar van Rhijn’s bedroom, Mrs. Morris’ bedroom and Mr. Morris’ office.
After a break for lemonade and cookies on the porch at Chateau-sur-Mer, the tour moves on to The Breakers to see the billiard room, where railroad tycoon George Russell plotted his business deals, and the spectacular music room that appeared as the ballroom where Gladys’ debut ball was held in the season finale.
The tour includes transportation to all locations, with pick-up and drop-off at the Gateway Transportation Center, 23 America’s Cup Ave. Participants will also receive a 10 percent discount in the Newport Mansions Stores. Tickets must be purchased in advance; Preservation Society members receive a 20 percent discount on the ticket price. Visit www.newportmansions.org/
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and 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.
Source: The Preservation Society of Newport County