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The Mansions of Bellevue Avenue: America Reimagines Dining, Drinking and Dancing

You were lucky to be invited. Now that you’re here, you can hardly believe the extravagance. The floors, walls and staircase are all made of marble. Flemish tapestries and the finest European art hang from the walls as a pair of white swans relaxes in an indoor fountain. The earliest known Tiffany glass installation? It’s right there in the dining room. The year is 1885 and one of America’s wealthiest families is hosting more than 400 guests. The Vanderbilts are here. So are the Astors, the Fricks, and members of the Rockefeller and Carnegie families.  It’s just another night on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island during America’s Gilded Age. Nouveau riche barons of the industrial revolution resided on Fifth...

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