The last of the great China Trade houses built in Providence, this presents a unique visage for the usual Providence brick-cube house built for the very rich. The partial-width, two-story front porch is spatially and ornamentally anomalous here, much more akin to the double galleries found in Charleston, South Carolina (which had significant trading ties to Providence going back to the eighteenth-century Triangle Trade and reinforced by early nineteenth-century textile production). John Corliss ran out of money before the house’s completion, when Edward Carrington (1773-1843), recently returned from duties as American consul in Canton, China, came to Providence and finished the building, adding the third story and unusual front porch. Like others of his socio-economic stature (and parallel to contemporary newcomer Sullivan Dorr, whose descendants later married Carrington’s), Carrington immediately consolidated his wealth and position by marrying Loriana Hoppin (1774-1861), the daughter of a local family made rich through shipping in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Carrington’s office, attached to the east elevation of the house, provided a space for business transactions discrete from family activities yet conveniently nearby. Descendants of Carrington occupied this house into the 1930s, when it became a museum house for twenty-five years, after which it reverted to single-family use, which it continues to enjoy today.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture