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Admiral Thomas O. Selfridge Cottage

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The Barnacle
1885, C. L. Bevins. 15 Dumpling Dr. (visible from the water)

Another clinger. In this instance the top of the rock was blasted away to provide the building site. The house is surrounded now by a crown of evergreens, and is accessible only by a steep, winding pathway with stone steps and a hoist for lifting packages. This medium-sized Shingle Style cottage features a pyramidal roof of varied pitches with chimney topped by chimney pots poking through. Twin gabled bedrooms face the water from these and from a porch arcaded in shingles across its north and east sides. Views across the water take in a substantial piece of Newport Harbor and, farther up the bay, the Newport Naval College for high command officers. A perky, tall-gabled cottage at road level provided for guest overflow, as well as, perhaps, for infant children and those unequal to the climb. The striking aspect of this commonplace design shows what placement of openings, their proportioning to their elevations, and shaping of overall mass—no more than the basics—can do. A few years after it was built Admiral Selfridge commissioned a larger and more conventional house close to Jamestown Village ( JA33).

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Admiral Thomas O. Selfridge Cottage", [Jamestown, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 599-599.

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