Let’s call it the end of an era. Famed Newport attorney Brian Cunha has sold Beacon Rock Mansion to George David, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Technologies Corporation, for $23 million! The purchase was filed with the City of Newport on Wednesday with Beacon Rock LLC officially purchasing the property,
From the beginning, they called Beacon Rock the Acropolis of Newport. Commodore Edwin D. Morgan in 1887, commissioned architect, Stanford White, of the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White in New York, to design this residence on the plan of the ancient Athenian Stoa of Attalos and the Agora adjoining it. The resulting ionic marble colonades and the balanced, matching temple-like facades took over 3 years to complete. The mansion was ready for occupancy in 1891.
Its owner for 3 decades, Edwin Morgan, cousin of J.P. Morgan, served as commodore at the Newport Yacht Club and personally owned several of the America’s Cup defenders, which he kept at Beacon Rock.
By 1921, Captain and Marion Eppley took possession of the Estate. The Eppley’s spent 20 odd seasons there at the Harbor side.
A new era began in 1951 when Mr. Felix DeWeldon, the world renowned sculptor, took possession.
In 1945, while serving in the United States Navy, as a Seabee, Mr. Felix DeWeldon undertook one of his greatest and most famous works, which catapulted him to fame- the flag raising on Iwo Jima.
Today, it is officially known as the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, displayed in Arlington National Cemetery. The memorial is just one of DeWeldon 33 works throughout the Washington D.C. area, which is more than any sculptor in history. The 78-foot high masterpiece, with every completed, is the largest sculptor cast in bronze in the world and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. This memorial is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world.
Mr. Felix DeWeldon created more than 2,000 public monuments, displayed on all 7 continents, more monuments than any sculptor in the history of the world. During the past fifty years as a world renowned artist he has produced an impressive body of work ranging from great monuments to busts of distinguished people to beautiful religious works. Many important people have sat for de Weldon in an official capacity. DeWeldon has been referred to as the artist to presidents and kings. He is a monumental artist on the grand scale, whose name and works are world renowned. He is ranked in the company of masters such as Michelangelo and Rodin.
A bronze replica of the Iwo Jima monument, along with other sculptures, signed by Mr. Felix DeWeldon, are on display at Beacon Rock.
The home is on the National Register of Historic Homes in the United States.
Attorney Brian R. Cunha, acquired “Beacon Rock” in 1996 and has fully renovated and restored the property.
Beacon Rock, consisting of 8 and ½ private acres with over 2, 000 feet of Benton Cove and Newport Harbor frontage, commands a panorama of views reaching to downtown Newport, the Newport Bridge and Fort Adams State Park.
The house also has, along the waterfront, a 12 foot deep water dock. Also available is a 50 foot sailing yacht and 16 foot Tender.
The landscaped grounds were originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park, the pearl necklace surrounding Boston and numerous other parks and residences throughout the country. A variety of mature plantings on grounds with Tall hedges and stone walls protect the perimeter of the property; ornamental gates that are code accessed give way to the winding drive which leads from the road across an arched stone bridge to the house. The entrance courtyard features an intricate boxwood hedge maze that is surrounded by marble columns and a marble deck
The home was designed and built by McKim, Mead, and White. The residence was completely restored by its current owner in 1997. The suburb classical design incorporates a monumental ionic colonade central courtyard and flanking temple-like wings affording water views from nearly all of its 16 principal rooms. The 22,000.00 square foot residence includes 6 main bedrooms and 3 smaller ones, and 10 ½ baths, in addition to staff quarters in a private apartment in the lower level of the west wing. The interiors are appointed with hardwood floors, moldings and 11 fireplaces.
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