NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Doris Duke's Rough Point Mansion
Life was not so rough in this palatial mansion. Ms Duke's personally-chosen furnishings are all still here.
 
 

 

Rough Point, the English-manor-style stone mansion made famous by heiress and philanthropist Ms Doris Duke, was the largest "summer cottage" in Newport RI when it was completed in 1887.

In a dramatic location at the southern end of Bellevue Avenue (Map of Newport), its builder and first owner was Frederick W Vanderbilt, who sold it to William B Leeds in 1906. Leeds got to enjoy the house for only two years, dying in 1908.

James B Duke, driving force behind the cigarette-making machine, founder of the American Tobacco Company and Duke Energy, and benefactor of Duke University, bought the house in 1922.

Duke employed the landscape architecture firm of Frederick Law Olmsted to design the sprawling 2000-acre (809-hectare) estate's nine lakes, dozens of fountains and miles of roadways.

Duke died in 1925, having had little chance to enjoy the house. That pleasure fell to his daughter and only child, Doris Duke (1912-1993). Doris was presented to society at a debutante ball at Rough Point in 1930, and soon became famous as "the world's richest girl."

Ms Duke led a glamorous, adventurous life on her various estates and on travels around the world. She married twice, created fabulous gardens, collected treasuries of art, supported important historic restoration efforts (particularly in Newport), and at her death bequeathed most of her fortune to charity.

Rough Point is now owned and administered by the Newport Restoration Foundation, which Ms Duke had founded.

From Rough Point you can continue your tour of Newport along Ocean Drive. More...

Rough Point
Newport Restoration Foundation

680 Bellevue Avenue
Newport RI 02840
Tel: 401-847-8344


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Doris Duke's Rough Point Mansion, Newport RI

Rough Point, an odd name for the smooth life.

 

 

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