top of page
New York. The Beating Heart of the World
Mark Twain. 1907
"Golden age" is the term I coined.
It came from a novel I wrote with Charles Dudley Warner,
in 1873, called "The Gilded Age", a modern tale that mocks an era of social content, masked by a thin golden veneer. In the history of the United States, this era, typical of the late 19th century, between about 1870 and 1900, to be precise, was a time of growth and prosperity, especially in the bustling New York City.
One of the most representative buildings of that prosperous period was The Breakers, a summer residence in Newport, a symbol of the social and financial pre-eminence of the Vanderbilt family. The Vanderbilt family made its fortune in railway construction in New York, an essential sector for the city's industrial development.
The Vanderbilts commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a mansion. Hunt directed an international team of first-class craftsmen to create a seventy-room palace in the Italian Renaissance style, inspired by 16th-century buildings in Genoa and Turin. The beauty of the mansion,
combined with the sumptuousness and solemnity of its sculptures and decorations, became a symbol of a transformed and innovative society, paving the way to become the capital of the world. Today, that house has become a national landmark!
bottom of page