Visiting Plaisance, Newport, Rhode Island

Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty takes a look at a magical estate on the Rhode Island shore.

Last night I dreamt I went to Plaisance again . . . To an Englishman there is something of Daphne Du Maurier about this spectacular house. Perhaps it is the rugged coast, the rocks and the crashing waves beneath. Perhaps it is the haunting romance but I have thought about Plaisance every day since I was there.

Over the years I have seen many houses with fine views – houses all over the UK and the US, houses in France and Italy and in lots of other places too. All these views have been different, special and spectacular. But I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like the view from Plaisance.

In the ‘fifties this was an important stop for Newport socialites. The house has style, location and an extraordinary presence – everything that was needed for society and entertainment. Today it still has its romance, but no longer its parties. Its gilded past still resonates but now it seems to be a house in waiting.

There are some homes with the capacity to become almost as famous as the people who lived in them. In the UK Churchill had Chartwell and Vita Sackville West had Sissinghurst. In the US Thomas Jefferson had Monticello and even Elvis Presley had Graceland. Plaisance has that quality and potential.

Plaisance will present its new owner with the unique challenge of restoring an iconic property. This will take care, flair and vision and will not suit everyone. But whoever meets this challenge will restore a house of true celebrity. Not necessarily a house for celebrities but better, a house capable of possessing its own celebrity. I long to see Plaisance again.

Nick Churton

Details of Plaisance

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