Now one of the four oldest houses in Providence, the Cushing, Sr, House originally stood at the corner of North Court and North Main Streets, facing North Main. It was moved back from the street when his son built the house next door. Built for a prosperous hatter, the “mansion house” represents stylish early eighteenth-century domestic architecture, and is probably among the first generation of Providence houses to move beyond the merely utilitarian. The principal entrance is ornamented with shells, a popular detail at the time, and the gable ends overhang the side elevations by almost a foot. Its overall format, a large center chimney, around which five rooms and a front stair hall were arranged on each story, remained standard for most of the eighteenth century, but the absence of a completely symmetrical façade, common on the later houses of this type, marks this as a house in transition from utilitarian early houses to more style-conscious residences of a prospering community.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture