The Shaw house not only commands a fine view of the river from its bluff location, it also bespeaks a calmness and assurance, qualities often found in these Queen Anne/Colonial Revival houses of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A three-story bay tower with curved corner gently disappears into the wide veranda below. The horizontality of that veranda, together with the breadth of the house itself, helps to tie the building to its extensive grassy site. The details of the house, ranging from the paired Roman Doric columns to the classical entrance, result from part of the intense interest in Colonial architecture during the decades after the United States centennial in 1876.
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