Huge, Haunted and Historic: Newport’s Seaview Terrace Has Hit the Market
It is one of the largest mansions in Newport and has one of the most incredible histories. Now Seaview Terrace – aka the Carey Mansion – is on the market for $29.9 million.
Historic Seaview Terrace sits on eight acres of waterfront property along the Newport Cliff Walk and its nearly 43,000 square feet of living space is so big it takes up two addresses. Located at 197-207 Ruggles Avenue in Newport, this one-of-a-kind mansion listed by Aryn Hawks of Hawks and Company Edge Realty RI, LLC is a renovator's dream.
Yes, the house is in need of repairs and updating, but the bones of this place and its insane legacy would make any millionaire want to own it. It's not every day a house featured on Ripley's Believe It or Not goes on sale.
Seaview Terrace is full of believe it-or-nots, such as how it even came to be in Newport. Originally much of this French Renaissance Revival Chateau was built in 1907 on Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. with many rooms being shipped to D.C. from France. The house was then completely dismantled again and relocated to Newport in 1923, taking almost two years and $2 million to accomplish.
In Washington D.C., this house took up nearly half a city block; in Newport, it was just the fifth-largest mansion around. When it was all said and done in 1925, Seaview Terrace had over 60 rooms including 29 bedrooms, 18 bathrooms, a gothic chapel, ballroom, art gallery, 500-seat theater and perhaps most famously, a whisper room. This last one was an elliptical shaped room designed so a person on one end of the ellipse could hear a mere whisper from the other end. Sounds great for eavesdropping at parties.
The 1920s glitz and glamour of this massive mansion, though, was short-lived. By 1929, owner Edson Bradley's wife Julia had died and he spent just five more summers at Seaview before he died in 1935. The house went to the couple's daughter, but by 1941 she left because of issues with back taxes, and the city sold it in 1949 for just $8,000.
The house spent years as several different girls' boarding schools and was used in the daytime soap opera Dark Shadows as the fictional Collinwood Mansion before hitting the market again in 1974. This time it sold to the Careys, a New York couple who loved architecture and wanted to renovate. Their daughter, an architect herself, still lives on the property, though not in the main house.
It is clear from the photos below that Seaview Terrace is once again in need of a facelift. Here's hoping someone with a love of history buys this incredible property and gives it the TLC it definitely deserves.