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Lester Leonard House

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Mid-19th-century, c. 1935 and later. 35 Bishop St.

Many think of this as among the oldest buildings in East Providence. It is really a duplex mill workers' house, probably erected by the contractor John Bishop for the Rumford Chemical Works, which owned it until 1935. Its new owner, Lester Leonard, an antiques dealer who used his home as part of his business, made it look like an eighteenth-century house partly by veiling it inside and out with scavenged colonial oddments and partly by new work in the “old” manner. His pastiche typifies a widespread means of obtaining a “colonial” house (this with a very rare six-bay front!) at a time when ancient fragments from demolitions were much more plentiful than now. The paired doors of the workers' duplex provided Lester with an unusually regal double-doored entrance, which he enhanced by the excessive stretch of its oversized broken pediment.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "Lester Leonard House", [East Providence, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-EP6.

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