Actress Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney are hosting their wedding reception at Rhode Island mansion Belcourt of Newport on Saturday, according to People.com. The lavish, Bellevue Avenue property has a storied history and recently underwent a major renovation.
Owner Carolyn Rafaelian, founder and CEO of Rhode Island-based jewelry brand Alex and Ani, reopened the mansion for regularly scheduled public tours earlier this year after spending approximately $15 million on renovations. The Richard Morris Hunt-designed property, inspired by Louis XIII’s hunting lodge at Versailles, had been closed to the public since 2012, when Rafaelian bought it from previous owner Harle Tinney.
“I was immediately drawn to the property – there was a magnetic pull,” Rafaelian said in an e-mail. “I felt it needed me, needed someone to preserve its treasures, history, and secrets.”
Back in 2012, Belcourt, “was in very bad shape,” says the project’s architect, Shahin Barzin.
The slate roof was leaking and needed to be replaced. The sweeping wooden staircase wasn’t structurally sound. The front courtyard, where Belmont once kept a menagerie of animals, which he later donated to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, needed to be entirely re-landscaped. And the 40,000-square-foot space was packed with stuff – everything from valuable antiques to trash – that Rafaelian’s team threw in dozens of dumpsters or transported to a storage unit near Alex & Ani’s Cranston, R.I., headquarters.
Today, with the renovation about 80 percent complete, Belcourt is arguably as awe-inspiring as the other mansion museums that line Newport’s Bellevue Avenue. It’s also unique. For instance, it was originally conceived as a bachelor pad – and there’s no kitchen.
Read more on BostonGlobe.com.