Buildings of the late 17th and early 18th centuries were popular sources of inspiration for architects and clients at the end of the 19th century. The architecture of the Lowlands was one of the more recherché sources, especially in Providence, and this is one of the best adaptations. The architects were particularly imaginative in their use of sources, an attitude that must have appealed to Mr. Baker, who was the superintendent at Gorham Mfg. Co. Unfortunately, Mr. Baker was unable to enjoy this large, stylish house, for he died just as it was completed.
A center hall dominates the plan. Pilasters define the entrance hall and stair hall. The living room, with its semi-octagonal bay, has a handsome two-story mantel of cherry. The plaster frieze on the second story, replete with putti in a motif reminiscent of Della Robbia and Wedgwood, seems especially appropriate for a Gorham executive. To the right is the study. The dining room retains its original diamond-pane windows, and the butler’s pantry beyond is intact. The kitchen at rear overlooks the garden.
– 2009 Festival of Historic Houses Guidebook
For a superintendent at the Gorham Mfg Co, Hoppen & Field looked to the Netherlands for inspiration – thus the stepped gable end that dominates the façade. Hoppin & Field were known for their flamboyance, and Field, a resident of Elmwood, had designed several houses for the Gorham’s employees in that neighborhood near the plant.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture