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St. Michael's School (Miss Ellen Mason House)

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Miss Ellen Mason House
1902, Irving Gill. 180 Rhode Island Ave.
  • St. Michael's School (Miss Ellen Mason House) (Richard W. Longstreth)
  • St. Michael's School (Miss Ellen Mason House) (Richard W. Longstreth)
  • St. Michael's School (Miss Ellen Mason House) (Richard W. Longstreth)
  • St. Michael's School (Miss Ellen Mason House) (Richard W. Longstreth)

One of only three documented examples of Gill's work on Aquidneck Island (see also NE174 and PO13), this house seems decidely alien in Newport because of its design in the Califronia vernacular of Hispanic stucco. It replaced an earlier summer cottage by H. H. Richardson that had burned to the ground in 1899 and was probably commissioned through Gill's California contact with the Olmsted firm, which Ellen Mason had retained to plan the considerable gardens of her estate. Gill organized his broad wall planes of stucco under a hipped tile roof and punctuated them with a sequence of arched windows and (what were) open porches to the rear. This he embellished with ornate flourishes, like the ironwork and columns around the balconies. It may seem a house better suited to another region, but ironically it represents Gill's earliest use of a Hispanic-influenced vocabulary, for which he later became famous.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "St. Michael's School (Miss Ellen Mason 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, 551-551.

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