What's Old Is New Again

Inspired by Alva Vanderbilt’s innovative vision and style, Carolyn Rafaelian is currently in the process of restoring the mansion’s every facet.

By studying old photographs and utilizing reclaimed materials, a team of experts is slowly bringing Belcourt back to life—back to a time of grandeur and moonlit soirees.

From The Gilded Era
To The Green Age

By using cutting-edge technology, the team could make precise restorations—unearthing the mansion’s original beauty in the most eco-conscious, sustainable way possible. Belcourt is among the few historic mansions that utilize solar PV and geothermal systems to offset environmental damage.


An 18.72 kW DC array solar photovoltaic (PV) system was installed at Belcourt by Rhode Island based Newport Renewables (NPTRE®), a clean energy project developer. The system will offset 15% of electric consumption by working in tandem with geothermal heating and cooling.

The pollution reduction of this solar array is equivalent to 980 barrels of unused oil and 47,403 gallons of unconsumed gasoline—or removing 89 passenger vehicles from the road.


Powered by solar technology, the geothermal heating and cooling system works by transferring heat to and from the ground, using the Earth as a heat source in the winter and a heat sink in the summer. The impressive 90-ton system has 34 wells, each reaching 425-500 feet deep.



The Vaulted Room




Boats by the bay

This summer there were, surprise surprise, boats on the bay! Often the sun will shine and when it's partially cloudy we get the 'God' or 'Holy Light' effect. It's pretty cool huh? I wonder what it's pointing to... treasure? Bitcoins?