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William Harris House

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1807. 12 Church St.

A chaisemaker typical of the artisans who crowded between Thames and Hope streets, William Harris commissioned this house in 1807 from housewright Benjamin Norris. Its splendidly idiosyncratic door surrounds, which are boldly abstracted, reveal that Russell Warren was not the only local builder to see in wood construction infinite space for invention. Despite its progressive Federal touches, the house is the conservative colonial type: four rooms clustered about a central chimney. The later additions are charming counterparts to Norris's clever woodwork, transposed to a Victorian key.

Directly across the street at number 15 is the Charles DeWolf house, built in 1806 by carpenter Abraham Warren. Its Ionic corner pilasters and curved iron stair railing form a sophisticated architectural counterpoint to the geometric abstraction of William Harris's house.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "William Harris House", [Bristol, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-BR43.

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