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The rectangular-plan, two-and-a-half-story house set narrow end to the street is the most typical residential form in 19th-century Providence. The plan of the interior is similarly typical: an ample stair hall to one side and double parlors on the other. This form, built here commonly between 1810 and 1880, provided the basic structure whose proportions could be varied and to which a wide variety of ornamental trim could be applied — an architectural anatomy that accommodated the successive waves of historical stylistic references that swept the country during those years. The Richardson House includes trim elements derived from both ancient Greece (the gable end treated as a pediment supported by wide corner pilaster strips) and Renaissance Italy (the cornice brackets and round-arch openings). But typical of houses more than a century and a half old, there are significant later additions, such as the semi-octagonal bay window in the southwest parlor, added probably in the 1890s.

Richardson manufactured jewelry, an important component in Providence’s burgeoning 19th-century industrial economy, and he lived here with his wife, Margaret, into the 1880s. In the 20th century, this was the home of Brown University Professor James B. Hedges, who collated the Brown family papers and wrote the seminal family biography, The Browns of Providence Plantations

— 2008 Festival of Historic Houses Guidebook

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© 2024 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.