Doris Duke’s Rough Point is just as she left it: in pristine condition. Take a step back into time and see how she lived in her extravagant mansion filled with wall to wall eclectic style. Each item has a story and history behind it ready to be discovered. Here's 7 things we learned about Doris Duke and her famous home, Rough Point Mansion.
Built in 1887
Rooms: 21 bedrooms, over 45 rooms
10.8 acres and 270° of ocean views
- The house is set up exactly as Doris Duke last left it 1992.
- At 12 years old, Doris Duke inherited her fortune of $80 million, making her the richest little girl in the world. Throughout the course of her life, she grew that fortune to more than a billion dollars, traveled the world and became the benefactor of artists, medical researchers and a number of charities.
- Doris Duke was on a 30-year shopping spree and it took her that long to fill the house with all the expensive belongings inside, including large ancient tapestries, some even from the Palace of Versailles. In fact, Doris did most of her own decorating and scouting of antiques for the entire home.
- Duke had 10 large dogs that lived with her at once and she let them roam free around the whole house. She treated them like part of the family as her own kids. The dogs would knock over expensive pieces of art, so she set up a workshop in her home to constantly glue things back together. You can see these pieces all around the house.
- Not only did she have many dogs, but she was also the owner of two camels named Princess and Baby that lived on her backyard patio. When she bought her own plane for travel these two camels came with it. Today, two camel topiaries stand at the entrance of her home as a playful interpretation of Doris's two friends.
- She founded the Newport Restoration Foundation in 1968 with the purpose of saving more than 83 colonial buildings in Newport's Point and Historic Hill sections, making this area one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in the United States. Today, NRF continues to own a collection of 78 historic buildings, 73 of which are homes rented as private residences and maintained by a full-time crew of carpenters and painters. This is one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by a single organization anywhere in the country.
- She was a huge environmentalist and preservationist, so her house is surrounded by gardens. She even grew her own food so the chefs could use them for her meals.
VISIT FOR YOURSELF
Guided and self-guided tours of Rough Point are available Tuesday - Sunday from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM May 10 - November 6.
- Guided tours are 75 minutes long and visit the entire first floor, then continue upstairs to Doris Duke's bedroom and the special exhibition galleries.
- Self guided tours are offered on Saturdays from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Rough Point Mansion
680 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, Rhode Island