• The Elms Kitchen again is shown as the Russells’ kitchen.
• The Breakers Music Room again appears as the Russells’ ballroom on two occasions. Mrs. Russell plans to have a band playing in the alcove, which is the reason for the room’s design.
Photograph by Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO
• Oscar van Rhijn to Marian Brook: “We are taking the ferry and train to Newport.” He should have said, “the train and ferry to Newport.” Newport is on an island. Even though there was railway expansion onto the island via bridge in the 1860s, that was on the north end of the island and the railway was largely for transportation of goods. People, especially from New York, made their way here by ship, the most popular being The Fall River Line.
• Agnes van Rhijn: “Why does everyone have to go to Newport now? What’s wrong with Saratoga Springs? It was very fashionable when I was a bride.” Newport has supplanted Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as a resort for the wealthy.
Scene in Newport: Amy Forsyth as Carrie Astor, Ashlie Atkinson and Mamie Fish and Harry Richardson as Larry Russell. Photograph by Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO
• Beechwood, Mrs. Astor’s house in Newport, was originally built by Calvert Vaux and Andrew Jackson Downing (landscape), two of the great architects of the mid-19th century, and completed around 1853 for Daniel Parish. It was bought by the Astors in 1881 and heavily renovated with the help of Richard Morris Hunt, who designed Marble House and The Breakers.
• The Newport home of Ward McAllister is far too grand. He rented small cottages in Newport and owned a farm in Middletown, Bayside Farm. The home shown as his is the real-life Wrentham House in Newport, also known as Indian Springs. It was built between 1887-1892, about a decade after the show’s setting of 1882. Richard Morris Hunt was the architect, Frederick Law Olmsted the landscape designer.
• To “keep up” with society, in addition to their farm in Middletown, the McAllisters rented cottages in Newport on Ruggles Avenue, Coggeshall Avenue and the Lyman Cottage on Leroy Avenue.
• The Newport Casino was a relatively new club at this time, built between 1879 and 1881 by McKim, Mead and White for James Gordon Bennett Jr., who reportedly started the private club as a rebellious act following his expulsion from The Reading Room, once considered America’s most exclusive gentleman’s club.
Scene at the Newport Casino. Photograph by Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO
• John Adams mentions staying with the Wetmores, whose Newport home was Chateau-sur-Mer. In the early 1880s, George Peabody Wetmore and Edith Keteltas Wetmore were in their 30s with four young children: Edith, Maude, William and Rogers.
• The Cushing House is the setting for the home of Mr. and Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish. However, their real house was just across the street and still stands: Crossways on Ocean Avenue. This imposing Georgian-style mansion was completed in 1897 and has now been divided into condominiums.
• What is represented as Beechwood, the Newport home of Mrs. Astor, is a composite of three extant Newport homes: Chateau-sur-Mer (exteriors, shown here), Belcourt Castle (first floor) and Marble House (kitchen and scullery). The real Beechwood still stands on Bellevue Avenue and is privately owned.
• Why wouldn’t the Astors entertain someone “like” Mrs. Jay Gould? The Goulds were ostracized from the social networks of New York because they were Jewish. Sadly, antisemitism was very common in the Gilded Age.