The other day my friend, Julia, and I went to the Beaker's mansion in Newport. Neither of us had been before. At first, I left feeling underwhelmed. But I was glad I went, and want to go back. As I'm writing this now, reflecting, it was impressive. When you think how old this place is. Built in 1892, it has running water, gas and electricity. Even the Baccarat crystal lamps are piped with gas and electricity.
Cornelius Vanderbilt II bought the property for $450k in 1885. It burned down, and this is what he had rebuilt. There are something like 65,000 square feet of indoor space. And it's designed to withstand a fire. It was built with no wooden pieces!