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Henry Swineburne House

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1875–1876, Dudley Newton. 97 Rhode Island Ave.

Rustic (particularly chalet) sources provided the inspiration for this house in wood, brick, and slate, built for a client who helped engineer Newport's water system. It is one of the most effective designs by Dudley Newton in the “Modern Gothic” style, which he helped popularize locally in the 1870s. From the acutely pitched roofline of the rear block, which is complicated by an engaged polygonal tower and turret on one side, a steep, gabled element, really a bloated dormer supported on the posts and struts of a deep porch, projects to the street, establishing the image for this house. The jerkinhead dip of the front gable peak and the flare of the roof at the eaves provide a bonnetlike snugness around a display of vertical boarding, exposed framework, brackets, sawn patterns, and quatrefoiled window parapet, all of which meet the “Modern Gothic” aim of the expressive use of materials and structure and their inherent decorative possibilities. The roof bonnet throws off a shed roof to one side as a protective flap over the recessed entrance. Playful, joyous, fanciful, yet down to earth: the veritable image of what a Victorian summer cottage should be.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Henry Swineburne House", [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, 552-553.

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