Rhode Island's Most Expensive Home Is a $19M Cottage

  • Seafair's interior sports touches of French-inspired design

    Seafair's interior sports touches of French-inspired design

  • Built to curve along its cliffside location

    Built to curve along its cliffside location

  • State-of-the-art kitchen

    State-of-the-art kitchen

According to its listing, Seafair, on the market for $19 million, is considered a cottage in Newport, RI. This is one heck of a cottage! And it now holds the distinction of being the most expensive listing in Rhode Island.

Way back when, the fancy folks in Newport had a slightly different definition of "cottage" than people in other parts of the country.

The likes of the Vanderbilts and the Astors built such homes -- actually giant, luxurious mansions -- in Newport during America's Gilded Age, when the seaside city became the summer getaway spot for the rich and fabulous.

Built in 1936, the property is a little newer than the others, but it has as notable a lineage. It started out as the home of a banker who would eventually become U.S. ambassador to Morocco under President Ronald Reagan, and later served as the site of a fundraiser for President Barack Obama in 2014.

The cliffside dwelling, originally known as Terre Mare, boasts 14 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, three half-baths, and 15,851 square feet of living space.

"Seafair feels majestic, thrilling, and peaceful," listing agent Melanie Delman says. "The views are awe-inspiring. It is incredible to be so close to the sea on Seafair's 9-acre private peninsula."

Inside, "there are many homey nooks, including the sitting room in the master suite and a cozy bedroom on the second floor with beautiful wallpaper and draperies," Delman says. A grand staircase to the right of the main entry features Directoire-style wrought-iron railings, Delman points out. A main salon and formal dining room have Louis XVI details.

Outside, there's an enclosed seaside loggia and a terrace featuring an ocean-facing pool that separates the main house from the newly finished two-bedroom carriage house.

The property actually includes three residences. In addition to the main house and carriage house, there's a third unit, a 2,518-square-foot, three-bedroom condominium carved out of the main house. It's being offered for $3 million.