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Boston architect William Chamberlain’s only contribution to Providence architecture is one of the city’s best and most inventive Colonial Revival houses. Edmund Willson, hard at work on the nearby Fletcher House, steered this commission to his friend from their student days at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Chamberlain’s career was beginning to falter in the 1890s because of weakening paralysis, but the design here reveals the sophisticated treatment expected from a Paris-trained architect. Particularly striking is the dormered gambrel roof that sweeps to embrace the front porch, which emerges from the mass of the house on the south side and terminates in an imaginative lattice-work Palladian motif. The 1912 addition extended the building to the north, with a third identical dormer added to the roof. Alexander Calder built this house for his daughter, Mary Calder Robertson, and her husband, R. Austin Robertson, treasurer of Builders Iron Foundry.

– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

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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.