Construction on visitors center at The Breakers to begin

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2014 file photo, visitors walk past a lamppost sculpture, right, near an entrance to The Breakers mansion, rear, in Newport, R.I. The group that owns The Breakers mansion is declaring victory in its long-running battle to build a visitors center on the grounds of the national historic landmark, following a decision by the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The high court on Jan. 21 declined to intervene in an attempt to block zoning approval for the project. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
The Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I. –Steven Senne / Associated Press

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Construction on a contested visitors center on the grounds of The Breakers mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, is scheduled to begin.

The Preservation Society of Newport County tells The Newport Daily News that work on the $5.4 million project is expected to begin within the next two weeks. The project is expected to take a year to complete.

Preservationists, neighbors and descendants of the Vanderbilt family who built The Breakers have fought the plan for years. They argue that the visitors center should be built outside the walls of the 13-acre estate, which is national historic landmark.

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The Preservation Society has said a visitors center will provide modern bathroom and ticketing facilities, as well as a place to get refreshments.

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Information from: The Newport Daily News.

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