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Robert J. Higgins House

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1983–1984, William J. Underwood. Southeast corner of 160 Swamp Rd. and West Main Rd.

This postmodernist design represents the response of a new generation of architects to the approved Little Compton approach to new houses. Adapt a traditional functional building or a reasonable facsimile of same: in this case, the architect effectively created his own shingled barn. Modify this to client expectations by discreet use of the current fashionable style: in this case, by eviscerating the assumed barn with giant cutouts. On the front, the entrance is blown up into an immense glazed arch; on the rear, a swath of glass doors opens to a deck as the conventional modernist means of celebrating interior volume and light, but with transom lights from the past, along with shed-roofed addenda.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Robert J. Higgins House", [Little Compton, 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, 494-494.

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