Typical of Providence’s first generation of Colonial Revival houses, this is broad, deep, and high shouldered on the outside and ample on the inside. The use of brick on the first story and banded shingles on the second, as well as projecting bay windows on the south and west elevations, show the lingering influence of the Queen Anne style, but the simple detail and symmetrical massing are fully Colonial in spirit. The interior, with principal stair hall almost larger than any of the public rooms with which it communicates, has large, simply — almost boldly — detailed rooms, with assertive cornices and large mantels. While both the spaces and their detailing are large in scale, the effect is embracing, not intimidating.
While most of the living spaces work as well today and look much as they did more than a century ago, the service areas became outdated. The kitchen, bathrooms, and cellar have all been completely remodeled not only to accommodate up-to-date technology but also to make them inviting to the owners and their guests, who use them in our largely post-servant society. The kitchen’s beamed ceiling with recessed panels, handsome cabinetry, and granite counters are as attractive as they are functional. And what was once a dank cellar is now clean and dry, thanks to modern drainage technology, and houses a club-like den with bar and adjacent media room.
Since the mid-19th century, the Tillinghast family had owned a large parcel of land at the northeast corner of Angell and Hope Streets, including the site for this house as well as that for 211 Hope Street. Here Charles F. Tillinghast built a large house on the site now occupied by the Wheeler School playing field. After his death, son James A. Tillinghast occupied that house. In the late 1890s, James built this house for his son William R. Tillinghast, who continued to live here well into the 20th century, when this parcel was separated from the rest of the property. All three generations of the family were attorneys, including William’s brother, Theodore.
– 2009 Festival of Historic Houses Guidebook