Tuesday, May 13, 2021 was a day of sunshine and blue skies. And, in Newport, Rhode Island, a perfect day for an invitation-only tour of the Bois Doré mansion.
Located at 115 Narragansett Avenue, Bois Doré was built in 1927 by renowned New York architect Charles A. Platt. Gracefully sited on four private acres off Bellevue Avenue and located five blocks from The Breakers, Bois Doré or “gilded forest”, is approached through gilded wrought iron gates and a dramatic pollarded Linden tree lined drive. Designed in the Louis XVI style boasting a marble foyer entrance and loggia which opens to a beautiful brick terrace overlooking the expansive rear yard. Wrought iron and glass front doors complement the timeless limestone façade and center the two wings of the home. An 85-foot great hall extends to either side, giving the space a sense of balance and grandeur.
The East Wing is anchored by the chef’s kitchen featuring dual Viking ranges beneath an antique Duparquet, Huot & Monesue Co. white cast iron hood. The adjacent dining room is adorned with Martin Battersby trompe l’oeil art, a style of painting in which objects are depicted with photographically realistic detail. A butler’s pantry, family room, and sun porch provide space for storage and leisure. In the West Wing lie the drawing-room, the study, and the grand ballroom, the largest of any private home in Newport.
Originally commissioned for William Fahnestock, a New York banker and founder of present-day Oppenheimer & Co., the home has a unique and illustrious history of notable ownership including Campbell Soup heiress Elinor Winifred Dorrance Hill Ingersoll and later Oil baroness Carolyn Mary Skelly. Highlights of the French Chateau include 25 bedrooms, eight marble fireplaces, and an antique eight-foot Regency chandelier sparkling from the ballroom ceiling, harkening guests to a by-gone era of glitz and glamour.
Champagne was served in branded flutes, cookies that tell the story of the home were enjoyed, and prized from Van Cleef & Arpels and Louis Roederer were awarded.
“Zoom & FaceTime have been lifesavers since last March but nothing compares to showing the grandeur of a home like this in person,” says Kylie McCollough.