The mansion was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a member of the wealthy United States Vanderbilt family, in an architectural style based on the Italian Renaissance. It was designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt with interior decoration by Jules Allard and Sons and Ogden Codman, Jr. The 70-room mansion has a gross area of 125,339 square feet (11,644. 4 m2) and 62,482 square feet (5,804. 8 m2) of living area on five floors, constructed between 1893 and 1895. The Ochre Point Avenue entrance is marked by sculpted iron gates, and the 30-foot-high (9. 1 m) walkway gates are part of a 12-foot-high (3. 7 m) limestone-and-iron fence that borders the property on all but the ocean side. The footprint of the house covers approximately 1 acre (4,000 m2) of the 14 acres (5. 7 ha) estate on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.