Take a tour of the Newport, RI home of Doris Duke. Rough Point was the Newport home of heiress, collector, and philanthropist Doris Duke (1912-1993). At Rough Point, we take a close look at Doris’s story – her life, legacy, and her continuing impact. Mark and I sure enjoyed this part of our return trip to Newport and I hope you enjoy the tour as well. I took a lot of pictures, so be prepared for lots of visual interest.
Rough Point’s 10.8 acres are a blend of the original rustic design by F.L. and J.C. Olmsted, features introduced by each of its owners, and historically informed choices made by the Newport Restoration Foundation.
Dates of construction: 1887-1891
Architects Peabody & Stearns and landscape firm F.L. and J.C. Olmsted design Rough Point for Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt. 1906: William B. and Nancy Leeds purchase Rough Point. 1922: Doris Duke’s father James and mother Nanaline Duke, purchase Rough Point and hire architect Horace Trumbauer to renovate and enlarge the house in 1922. James B. Duke dies, leaving Rough Point and a fortune worth $80 million to his only child, Doris, then twelve years old. From 1935-1954 Nanaline Duke, Doris’s mother is the primary resident of Rough Point. In 1957, Doris Duke re-establishes a home at Rough Point and returns seasonally for the rest of her life. 2000-Present: Rough Point opens to the public as a museum, according to Doris Duke’s wishes, by the Newport Restoration Foundation.
It’s a fascinating home and you will love seeing the house and the grounds. The architecture is stunning as are the surrounding lawn and grounds. What a summer home it is! I’m not going to post a lot of narrative in between pics, so enjoy the beauty of the house.
Doris Duke had two Bactrian camels, Princess and Baby, who summered at Rough Point from 1988 to 1992. The infamous pair were tough on the grounds but are remembered fondly through living-sculptures featuring drought-tolerant sedum.
Some areas are furnished and some are not, but the architecture is the star of this house.
I think this is the Great Hall
This stain glass window on the stairwell landing was magnificent!
Doris Duke’s bedroom
Her bathroom: I loved this stylish space!
Solarium: Another favorite space, isn’t this gorgeous?!
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The lawn and outdoors was just magnificent. It was so much to take in.
Cliff Walk bridge
And that’s a tour of the Doris Duke mansion, Rough Point. I hope you enjoyed seeing the house as much as we did. It’s truly fascinating to see how the rich lived back in those days and to see where it is now. It’s a magnificent house and it’s hard to fathom living in something this grand, but it sure is fun to see it all.