The brick cube yet again, here at three-and-half stories and capped with the early nineteenth-century Providence monitor-on-hip-roof, but this time not for a member of the local elite, but for Joseph Hale, a mason. An advertisement of his skills, perhaps? By the time Brown University acquired the building in the 1930s it had been converted into flats. About that time Dr. and Mrs. George Warren Gardner offered the university their house and their collection of antiques; in return, they wanted an early house in which to live out their lives among their belongings. The Gardners’ remodeling was based on what they thought it should look like, heavily influenced by the Federal style of Salem, Massachusetts. After their deaths, the university turned the building into a guest house for visiting dignitaries. The refurbishment beginning in the late 1970s by architect Irving B. Haynes and interior designer Pauline C. Metcalf wisely recognized and preserved the early twentieth-century interpretation of house and antiques.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture