The Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America

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Newport Cottages 1835-1890: The Summer Villas Before the Vanderbilt Era

September 20, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Step Back in Time and Explore the Newport Cottages from 1835 through 1890, before the Vanderbilt Era

In-Person Event & Book Signing

Montauk Club

25 Eighth Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11217

Free Tickets Available Here

Author Michael Kathrens will present a compelling account of the luxury and splendor of Newport’s nineteenth-century summer “cottages,” the subject of his most recent book. In the decades since 1835, when the first private house was built exclusively for seasonal use, scores of magnificent homes were commissioned by a burgeoning summer colony whose members were among America’s wealthiest and most prominent families, including the Schermerhorns, Lorillards, Goelets, and Joneses. They built their summer residences in neighborhoods known today as Kay-Catherine-Old Beach Road, Bellevue Avenue, Ochre Point, and Ocean Drive, commissioning local talents such as George Champlin Mason, Sr., Seth C. Bradford, and Dudley Newton as well as nationally renowned architects such as Richard Morris Hunt, McKim, Mead & White, and Peabody & Stearns. These opulent private houses often rivaled the sumptuousness of the later Gilded Age mansions, the subject of Kathrens’s earlier publication, Newport Villas: The Revival Styles, 1885–1935. Kathrens will discuss in detail some of the ownership histories of the 36 exceptional houses profiled in his new book, including Cannon Hill, Chateau-sur-Mer, Elm Court, Beaulieu, Land’s End, the original Breakers, Ochre Point, and Chastellux, while sharing visual documentation not only of the original structures, but also of later renovations, including newly commissioned photography.

Book signing to follow.

Michael C. Kathrens is an independent scholar specializing in American residential architecture and interior decoration of the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries. His previous publications include American Splendor: The Residential Architecture of Horace Trumbauer, The Great Houses of New York: 1880-1930, Newport Villas: 1885-1935, The Revival Styles, and Kansas City Houses 1885-1938. Kathrens is currently working on three projects: The Houses of Ogden Codman Jr., New York Penthouses and Maisonettes, and a comprehensive study of prominent historical Kansas City stores.

Co-sponsored with:

The Alumni Association of the Victorian Society Summer Schools


Victorian Society in America


September 20, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm