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Textile-manufacturer and Providence Journal-publisher Metcalf (1857-1950), who lived three blocks away at the corner of Prospect and Bowen Streets, built this brick (think fireproof) L-plan building to house horses, carriages, and groomsmen. The servants lived in the southern ell, now a separate unit at number 42 Jenckes, while carriages and horses occupied the large section to the north included in this tour. Access to the carriage house was through the current living room’s large round-arch opening, now glazed, on the south wall of the east section. Today’s living room was for carriage storage, while feed and tack rooms and four horse stalls occupied the space to the west, today’s kitchen. The second story, now bedrooms, was originally a loft for hay storage, with access through a large trap door, its outlines still visible in the living room’s ceiling.

Architect Allen Day acquired the property in the early 1950s, soon after Metcalf’s death, and gradually converted it to entirely residential use. The Day family occupied the southern section while renovating the larger northern section. That ongoing conversion included the installation of the large round-arch opening in the living room’s north wall, the fireplace-in-the-round, created from old industrial materials, and the parquet floor. The present owners have installed the state-of-the-art kitchen to the west and added plaster walls — with invisible built-in speakers — on the north walls. The terraced yard to the rear was created by filling an originally sloping lot. 

This successful rehabilitation exploits the redundant carriage house’s dramatic spatial potential and solid, simple details while maintaining the integrity and character of the original. It is an exemplarily thoughtful remodeling.

– Festival of Historic Houses Guidebook, 2013

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© 2024 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.