Vernon Court was designed by the noted architects John Merven Carrére and Thomas Hastings of Carrére & Hastings. They designed the New York Public Library, US Senate & House Office Buildings in Washington, DC and many other nationally recognized architectural monuments. Perhaps the most significant of Carrére & Hastings' architectural designs is The Frick Collection, residence of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919). It was designed so that the first floor could posthumously be converted into an art museum. Carrére & Hastings used Vernon Court as the antecedent design model for the remarkable Frick Collection. Interestingly, both Vernon Court and The Frick enter on the adjacent side streets rather than on Bellevue or Fifth Avenues.
Jules Allard et ses fils of Paris, the world's most noted interior designers at the turn of the Twentieth Century, were responsible for the interiors of Vernon Court. The Marble Hall, Petit Salon and Ballroom were all modeled after the Marie Antoinette suites at the Palace of Versailles. Allard completed many other mansion interiors in Newport including The Elms, Rosecliff, The Breakers, and Marble House. The two loggias at opposite ends of the building were decorated with murals undertaken by Tiffany Studios' muralist, James Wall Finn. They were inspired by the Villa Giulia in Rome, home to Pope Julius III. The formal sunken gardens at Vernon Court were designed by the New York landscape architects, Wadley & Smythe, and were inspired by the Pond Garden at Hampton Court Palace created by King Henry VIII for his ill-fated Queen, Anne Boleyn.
At the adjacent estate, Stoneacre (the mansion was demolished in the 1960s), the grounds were designed in 1884 by the first American landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Vernon Court sits on three acres, with its Frederick Law Olmsted Park (Stoneacre) comprising another three acres. The Frederick Law Olmsted Park is truly the last proper open space on Bellevue Avenue, a grand promenade of the 'Gilded Age' known as the "most elegant street in America," set in Newport,"the Capitol of architectural beauty."
All of these design treasures and feats work together and now, when combined with the most important paintings from the 'Golden Age of American Illustration', they make Vernon Court arguably one of our greatest national cultural sites. Set in Newport within the timeless ambience of by-gone grandeur, Vernon Court is just two blocks from Cornelius Vanderbilt II's The Breakers (1895), adjacent to Hon. George Wetnscore's Chateau-Sur-Mer (1852), and the William Watts Sherman House (1874) by H.H. Richardson, the first example of 'Shingle Style' - America's own indigenous style of architecture.
Newport has an unparalleled architectural heritage; it is a virtual Museum of Architecture. These illustrious 'Gilded Age' mansions are striking architectural monuments and are preserved forever, designated as such by the U.S. Department of the Interior, as parts of the National Historic District. Vernon Court lies little more than an hour south of Boston, and is just over three hours from New York City.