The story-and-a-half gambrel-roof house was probably the standard form for houses built beyond the “Compact Part of Town” during most of the middle half of the eighteenth century. This is typical in size, save for the exceptionally high first story. Why? Dexter stood well over six feet tall, as his tester bed, on display at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, attests.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture