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Mrs. Frederic Eustis House (Elm Tree Cottage)

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Elm Tree Cottage
1882, William Ralph Emerson, c. 1930s, south (garden) side altered with additions. 336 Gibbs Ave.
  • (Photograph by Catherine W. Zipf)
  • (Photograph by Catherine W. Zipf)
  • (Photograph by Catherine W. Zipf)

One of at least five houses that William Emerson designed for the Eustis family (the others are in Massachusetts), this residence sits narrow end to the street. Its ample two-and-one-half- story mass is composed of a long, narrow gable with cross gables toward the street and dormers breaking the uniform slope of the roof. Typically for Emerson's work of the 1880s, the entire house is cloaked in a skin of what were originally natural shingles; this treatment, combined with rounded shapes for conical elements, rounded corners (particularly around the main entry, a second-story inset porch, and dormers), and the curved outline of a monumental carved bracket on the street facade, enhances the overall volumetric effect, making this house more sculptural and homogeneous than most of the shingled houses of his contemporaries. In this restrained dependence almost exclusively on shape and texture, a simple grid of squared louvers cut as a simulated dovecote into the gable over the entry becomes ornamental in the same way as the bracket.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Mrs. Frederic Eustis House (Elm Tree Cottage)", [Newport, 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, 552-552.

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