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Alex and Ani Founder Buys Belcourt Castle

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

 

Belcourt Castle has been sold to jewelry designer Carolyn Rafaelian for more than $3 million. The sale by the Tinney Family to the founder of Alex and Ani is the most recent in a series of acqusitions and expansions tied to the Rhode Island-based jewelry company.

 "Rafaelian will give new life to the home and provide direction in the upcoming years while overseeing the complete remaking of such an architectural gem Richard Morris Hunt so graciously created for Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont in 1894," a press release said.

"I have a love affair with Newport. I've fallen completely in love with Belcourt," Ms. Rafaelian said. "I am fascinated by its rich history and roots and it's a true honor to have the blessing from Mrs. Tinney to continue the legacy. I look forward to restoring it to its natural beauty."

The property will undergo restoration, it will be renamed, Belcourtof Newport and "will be re-opened where it will continue showcasing tours, weddings and an array of charity-based social events reflecting Ms. Rafaelian’s vision for the historical mansion."

According to the release:

The third largest and unique among the mansions of Newport, “Belcourt,” a Louis XIII style-hunting lodge, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, “the Dean of American architects.” Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million in 2011 dollars. Three hundred skilled European craftsmen were employed in Belcourt’s creation between 1891 and 1894. The entire first floor was devoted to a fine carriage collection and a stable with 30 luxurious stalls accommodating prized coaching horses. Currently, the manor is home to an extensive collection of art and antiques while it hosts guided tours, weddings and social events.

 

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