Miramar sells for $27 million

Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty announced the sale of ‘Miramar’ at 646 Bellevue Avenue in Newport, RI. The seller was represented by David Huberman of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty. The buyer, Blackstone Chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman, was unrepresented.

Located on Bellevue Avenue, ‘Miramar’ is among Newport’s finest Gilded Age mansions and one of its largest private homes with an oceanfront setting offering panoramic views of the Rhode Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean.

In 1912 George D. Widner of Philadelphia commissioned architect Horace Trumbauer to design a summer cottage for his family. Trumbauer had designed several prominent buildings in Philadelphia as well ‘The Elms’ in Newport, his design for ‘Miramar’ was a neoclassical

French petit palais constructed of limestone inspired by eighteenth- century French architecture. On over 8 acres, the grounds were designed by French landscape architect Jacques Greber, who laid out the grand parterre gardens facing Bellevue Avenue.

In April of 1912, the Wideners were returning from a visit to Paris where, among other things, they were looking for furniture and decorative objects for their Newport house. They were aboard the RMS Titanic.

In the early morning hours of April 15th, 1912, Eleanor Elkins Widener and her maid stepped into one of the lifeboats after the ship struck an iceberg. Her husband, George, and her son, Harry, did not survive. Upon her safe return to America, the widowed Mrs. Widener continued with plans for her Newport house, named ‘Miramar’ (Spanish for “sea-view’) as a memorial to her husband. Eleanor later donated the money to Harvard University to build the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library in her son’s memory who was a Harvard alumni and avid book collector.

Listing agent David Huberman of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty said “Miramar is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to own one of the most spectacular estates in Newport. The design, construction, setting, and historical pedigree of this property are second to none. From private entry through its elaborate gates, to the flow through arched doorways from formal dining spaces through grand ballrooms to its exquisite seaside terrace it offers grandeur, and an opportunity to own a piece of history that cannot be recreated.” Its most recent owners had undertaken a detailed study and conservation of the estate with an international team of preservation consultants and advisors. Exterior stone cleaning, repointing, roof and balustrade work, a new geothermal heating and cooling system, interior paint analysis, tree care, and much more have been implemented, bringing the house and grounds on a course back to the original vision of Mrs. Widener and her design team.

Stephen A. Schwarzman is Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms with $684 billion Assets Under Management. Schwarzman’s net worth is reportedly $33 Billion.

This historic sale comes on the heels of Clarendon Court selling for $30 Million, making it the highest sale price for a private home ever in Rhode island.


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