A large and rambling split-level house, this has a low hip roof and wrap-around corner windows that signaled the most up-to-date modernity at the time the house was built. Architect Russillo (1902-1978) designed a number of neighborhood houses, many of them, like this, influenced by the later work of Frank Lloyd Wright. A highly site-specific design, the Savran House responds to its setting through massing, external articulation, and interior programming.
The split-level format, with four distinct levels, is a fine formal response to the hillside site, which descends from the house’s front to its rear then even more dramatically beyond to a deep grotto to the east. The house presents a somewhat guarded, almost opaque façade to the street, but its east elevation, away from the street, features vast expanses of large windows that provide the principal rooms and the master bedroom suite with splendid view of the grotto.
The building’s interior arrangement of rooms is carefully planned and, like most large houses of the period, divided into zones. Immediately accessible at the center of the principal level are the large entrance hall, living and dining rooms, kitchen, breakfast room, and service areas. At the southeast corner of the house are the children’s rooms, two bedrooms, each with private bath still sporting original fixtures and pastel tiling. To the north, and half a level above the principal level, is the master bedroom suite, with sitting room, bedroom, two bathrooms, and large dressing room and walk-in closet. Below the master suite is the paneled recreation room and obligatory bar, with access to the north section of the terrace, and a guest room.
Dr. Savran was a surgeon affiliated with Roger Williams Hospital, and the family remained here until 1976.
– 2011 Festival of Historic Houses Guidebook