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Rowland Robinson House

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1710. 1755, remodeling and enlargement, Rowland Robinson II. c. 1928, restoration and addition of rear servants' ell, Norman M. Isham. 450 Old Boston Neck Rd.
  • Rowland Robinson House (John M. Miller)

Few Narragansett Planter houses exist. This is the finest and very much the largest. It must be the largest eighteenth-century central-chimney gambrel house of its size in the state, testing the limits to which this inherently cozy format can be inflated. Indeed, its impressive scale combines with austerity of treatment to give it a rather barnlike quality, which is enhanced by its uncompromising situation in a skewed position at the center of a handsomely stone-walled field. Large as it is, however, at its grandest it was approximately 110 feet long, or nearly twice the 60-foot length that now exists; the extension, added by Rowland Robinson II, grandson of the original owner, was given over to service facilities and slave quarters. The grand door with its broken-segmental-arch pediment, an echo of that on the second-story balcony of the Colony House in Newport, is the sole adornment of this severity. It was no doubt added during the late 1920s restoration by Norman Isham, who knew the Colony House intimately after his work there in 1917.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Rowland Robinson House", [Narragansett, 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, 365-365.

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