Champ Soleil, located on Bellevue Avenue, Newport's most fashionable street was built in 1929 for Lucy Drexel Dahlgren and is one of the last great houses to be erected towards the end of Newport's golden age. Lucy Drexel Dahlgren was the granddaughter of Joseph W. Drexel, of Drexel & Company, Philadelphia. The 1929 home was designed by the prominent architectural firm of Polhemus & Coffin and was inspired by the hunting lodge at Versailles called La Lanterne.
The second owner was Roberta & Robert Goelet, who had the house enlarged and decorated by the famed french decorating firm Maison Jansen. The estate was later owned by Russell B. Aitken and his wife Annie Laurie Aitken. Mrs. Aitken was the mother of Martha "Sunny" Von Bulow , who had a home down the avenue named Clarendon Court. Clarendon Court unfortunately received much attention during the 1980s when Sunny fell into a coma at the house, which lead to a sensational court case evolving around her husband, Claus Von Bulow.
Click HERE and go to page 145 to read and see more photographs of the house during the Goelet ownership in "Jansen", by James Archer Abbott, Acanthus Press 2006
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