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James Lawless House

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c. 1865. 208 Hope St.

In the 200 block of Hope Street are a striking number of houses of builders and artisans who lived close to their livelihoods on the wharves along the bay. The buildings have something of the splendidly taut and restrained quality of naval architecture, as in the high-gabled house James Lawless built for himself at the end of the Civil War. Lawless was a naval architect and mariner, and his house is a trim affair of crisp intersecting gables, whose plastic clarity has not been compromised by later additions.

Among Lawless's neighbors are the Timothy French House of 1803 (number 224), a brick house by a carpenter who was one of Russell Warren's principal competitors, and the Joseph Coit House of 1818 (number 259), the sturdy house of a shipbuilder whose carpenter, Isaac Borden, paraphrased his own house at 159 High Street. Finally, the distinctive Greek Revival door at number 259 is not to be overlooked.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "James Lawless House", [Bristol, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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