The almighty brick cube in a variety of costumes played a long run on the Providence domestic architectural stage. This house introduced a monumental scale heretofore unseen on northern Benefit Street but followed up on soon after (St. John’s Rectory and Mrs Mary A. Gorham House). Attempting to sidestep both topography and urban tradition, its Italian-palace appearance here, another by Alpheus Morse (Earl Pearce House), assumes a somewhat suburban air, with a rudimentary front yard. The brownstone retaining wall and balustrade at the lot’s edge, however, bring it back somewhat to a more citified look. Rhodes, a banker, sold his house in 1876 to textile-manufacturer Henry J. Steere, benefactor to the Home for Aged Men.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture