How Big Government Tarnished the Stately Cottages of the Gilded Age

Curbed today published an interesting article asking, “Why did Gilded Age mansions lose their luster?”  Mansions like the Breakers, the Vanderbilts’ “cottage” in Newport, once provided jobs for dozens of labor-class men and women, many of them immigrants.  But then the income and estate taxes forced the job-creating families they targeted to cut back.  People with limited means and opportunities lost work, and the homes themselves were destroyed, sold off, or turned into museums.


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