Thomas Marvell had just graduated from architectural studies at Harvard under Walter Gropius when he built this summer house on land owned by his wife's family. A scandal when built, it was regarded as the way “modern” should not be brought to Little Compton. Today, these gray-stained shed-roofed boxes strung out in an additive way make the house seem to be an abstraction in the Little Compton manner. Not so, of course, the flat surfaces made by flush vertical and horizontal boarding, the horizontal windows scattered as rectangular voids across the multiangled composition, or the slight lift of the house off the ground on squat concrete piers so that it seems to skim a little above its site.
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Thomas Marvell House
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