The Breakers is currently owned and maintained by the nonprofit Preservation Society of Newport that
proposes to build a visitors center on a currently empty portion of the estate to accommodate the
However, the descendants of the Vanderbilts are opposed to the idea.
Some 21 have come out publicly to denounce the plans. This feud even caused the cancelation of
Vanderbilt descendant Anderson Cooper’s scheduled speech at the estate last year.
Fox Business reported this story in a recent article titled "Spat over Vanderbilt mansion gets nasty; even
descendant Anderson Cooper isn't spared."
It is unclear whether the Vanderbilt descendants have any recourse here other than hoping their public
opposition persuades the Preservation Society of Newport to change its plans to build the visitors
If the society obtained the estate in trust and building the visitors center would potentially violate the
trust, then the descendants might have legal recourse. So far reports on this story do not indicate that is
a possibility here.
Contact one of our estate planning Attorneys or attend one of our free informational workshops for more information on this topic and many more.
Reference: Fox Business (June 22, 2015) "Spat over Vanderbilt mansion gets nasty; even descendant
Anderson Cooper isn't spared."