One of the fussiest Italianate houses in Providence, this presents a highly animated surface, with elaborately detailed windows in a variety of configurations, shifting wall plans, and a large octagonal cupola on top. Dike, a shoe manufacturer, lived here only briefly, but this was for many years the home of Brown University professor Albert Harkness (grandfather of the early twentieth-century architect), who in 1889 commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted to design the gardens, including a very early rockery. Developed between 1889 and 1897, the garden still retains a number of organizational features and specimen plantings from that era. Enclosing both house and garden is a delightful picket fence with stout piers and gutsy lattice gate.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture