Historical 'Seaview Terrace' For Sale in Newport, RI

Edge Realty RI

Historical 'Seaview Terrace' For Sale in Newport, RI

Located along Newport’s scenic Cliff Walk, Seaview Terrace is a historic Elizabethan-Revival mansion sitting on eight acres of land. Approximately 40,000 square feet in size, it’s the fifth-largest mansion in Newport, following only the Breakers, Ochre Court, Belcourt Castle, and Rough Point.

Overlooking Sheep Point Cove and the North Atlantic Ocean, Seaview Terrace provides seamless access to the water. It’s a pleasant stroll from both the Cove and the Ocean.

From the 1850s to the early 20th century, several wealthy families built mansions in Newport for the purpose of summertime entertainment. One of these families belonged to Edson Bradley, president of the Kentucky whiskey distiller, W.A. Gaines & Company.

At the time, Bradley held exclusive rights to the “Old Crow” whiskey label. Under his leadership, the company became the largest producer of sour mash whiskey in the world. The massive palace, also known as the Carey Mansion, is currently on sale for $29.9 million.

From Dupont Circle to Newport, RI (1923-1925)

Originally built in 1876 by wealthy flour merchant William M. Galt, this remarkable home once occupied Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle. It wasn’t until 1907 that leading liquor baron, Edson Bradley, took ownership of the property for an estimated $166,500—close to $5 million today. After four years of construction, the massive residence engulfed an entire city block and was nicknamed Aladdin’s Palace due to its grandeur.

In the summer of 1922, the Bradley’s Syracuse summer home went up in flames, destroying the New York property. Edson Bradley saw this unfortunate event as an opportunity to move the entire home at Dupont Circle up north. Over the next two years, the Bradley family had the Dupont house dismantled brick by brick and relocated to the fast-emerging city of Newport, Rhode Island. The impressive move was believed to be one of the largest homes to be transported by road and rail, earning it a feature on “Ripley's Believe it or Not."

Upon their move to Newport in February of 1923, the Bradleys bought a brick and half-timbered English manor house-style mansion. Formerly known as the Kernochan residence, the estate dates back to 1885. The couple commissioned leading New York architect Howard Greenley to complete a redesign of the property, incorporating the DuPont Circle home into the existing Kenochan mansion.

In the summer of 1925, a housewarming was held to celebrate the completion of the home’s relocation to Newport. Renovations were finalized in 1928 and cost over $2 million in modern-day currency. Seaview Terrace is currently the largest of the Gilded Age ‘Summer Cottages’ still under private ownership.

French Gothic Revival (1928)

Award-winning architect, Howard Greenly, was widely acclaimed for his work on Seaview Terrace. He received the ‘Second Mention for General Work’ by the Architectural League of New York, as well as the President’s medal from the American League of Architects for his French Gothic, chateau-style renewal of Seaview Terrace.

Conical domes and turret rooflines derived from the Chambord in Loire Valley impart a picturesque unity to the residence. Original furnishings of the 63-room manor included Renaissance cassones, Chippendale chairs, wrought iron torchères, and bearskin rugs.

Greenly’s work also featured Dutch sixteenth-century stained glass, which included ‘Flagellation’ circa 1545. This collection of stained glass windows was originally created for the Duomo di Milan cathedral in Italy.

Diverse Usage (1930s-1970s)

In the years leading up to Edson Bradley’s death, the property deed was transferred to the Bradleys’ daughter, Julie Fay Bradley Shipman. She held the property from 1930 to 1942, after which the City of Newport retrieved the title due to back taxes. The home then served as army officer quarters during World War II (1939-1945).
It wasn’t until 1949 that the property was privately owned once again. Upon purchasing the property, Edward J. Dunn transferred the title to Mrs. George Waldo Emerson Sr. From the 1950s to the 1970s, Emerson ran an all-girls boarding school and leased the property to both The Hatch School and The Newport School for Girls.

From 1966 to 1971, Seaview Terrace was the main stage of ABC’s popular vampire soap opera ‘Dark Shadows.’ The mansion continues to draw thousands of loyal fans every year.

Rebirth of ‘Seaview Terrace’ to ‘Carey Mansion’ (1974-2009)

After extensive use as an army post, private school, and film set, Seaview Terrace fell into disrepair. In 1974, the estate was rescued by mansion preservationist Martin Carey who paid $270,000 for the property, equivalent to $1.5 million today.

Martin and his wife, Millicent Carey, were New Yorkers with a passion for arts, architecture, and history. Once the title was in their hands, they commissioned Donald and Harle Tinney to restore the property’s stained glass windows. The Tinneys were leading window artisans who owned Belcourt Castle at the time.

After its restoration, Seaview Terrace became known as the Carey Mansion and was leased to Salve Regina University. It was used by the university as a musical conservatory, educational facility, and student residence until 2009. From 2010 until now, the estate has remained largely unused.

A haunted history

A private chapel known as the oratory sits within the estate. It is said that Edson’s late wife, Julia Williams Bradley, haunts the space. She died in 1929, shortly after the Bradley family moved into their new home. Having such little time to enjoy the residence, it is believed she peacefully roams the chapel. Her ghost was reportedly seen playing the chapel’s organ after her funeral service, which was held on the estate.

The Ghost Hunters team spent a night inside Seaview Terrace in 2011 and filmed it for the Syfy Network. During the filming, the crew recorded footsteps, muffled voices, and clunks on the floors above. They also reported dramatic temperature changes in the third-floor tower. However, in the years since then, no paranormal activity has been reported.

Unique features of the French-inspired chateau

Although the high-pitched roofline and connecting attics take on the architectural features of the famous Château de Chambord, the Carey Mansion’s design is more English in style. Displaying multiple gables and rows of chimneys along its exterior, many of the estate’s original features have remained intact over the years.

Throughout the 29-bed, 18-bath estate, residents can observe several authentic architectural features such as Medieval-inspired fixtures, hand-carved ceilings, and elaborate stone-carved staircases.

Dating back to the mid-1540s, the mansion's historic stained glass windows may be the Seaview Terrace’s most-prized feature. Bradley originally purchased The Flagellation for his Dupont Circle home and is rumored to have once belonged to the famous architect Stanford White.

A secured iron gate sits at the mansion’s entrance, reinforcing the original owners’ need for privacy. However, the grand entrance foyer sings a different tune. Featuring a stunning chandelier and a charming, wood-clad, two-story mezzanine, the entrance hall is warm and welcoming.

Seaview Terrace also boasts its own whispering gallery known as Cecilia Hall. Modeled after the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the gallery is designed in such a way that while standing at one end of the room, one can hear whispers uttered from the other end.

The estate also features an art gallery, a 500-seat theater, and an ornate two-story ballroom. A bright, light-filled room is located on the second floor and is considered to be one of the mansion’s most impressive entertainment spaces.

Modern-day appeal

After Salve Regina University terminated its lease with the Carey family, daughter Denise Anne Carey moved into the estate. The New York architect currently resides at the palace.

Today, the first floor of the three-story mansion is largely intact from the days of Edson Bradley, as is the massive great room and its whispering gallery. The property’s Renaissance stained-glass windows have also been preserved. However, the second and third floors are largely barren due to many years of usage by the local University.

“It definitely needs some loving restoration. In terms of moving in now and using the entire property as a home, probably not. But once restored, once returned to its former glory, it will be like nothing else in Newport. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a true piece of history,” says Lea Savas, a listing broker with Edge Realty RI.

Contact Edge Realty to Learn More About Seaview Terrace

Providing expansive acreage and rich history, this stunning mansion certainly has a lot to offer its next owner. If you’re keen on reviving this Golden Age gem, the property can be yours for a total of $29.9 million (£22.8m).

“It’s Seaview Terrace’s fascinating history, dating back to 1907 and Washington DC, that sets the house apart,” says Savas, who shares the high-profile $29.9 million listing with Aryn Hawks.

If you’re interested in acquiring one of the finest pieces of Newport real estate, contact Edge Realty today. As one of the leading brokerages in the area, Edge Realty lists Newport homes for sale that are truly one-of-a-kind. From Brenton Point to Miami Beach, Edge Realty is here to help you find the estate that’s right for you.

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