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Jacob Morse House

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c. 1851. 101 Great Rd. (northeast corner of Morse Ave., diagonally opposite Stephen Brownell House)

This Italianate house, the last major nineteenth-century house built in the village, displays scroll bracketing of various sorts under the eaves, over the heads of paired windows, and around the cornice of the unusual entrance porch. Paneled polygonal columns in a tapered curve support an undulant entablature in keeping with the curves of the bracketing. In this ambience of Federal reticence and attenuation, Victorian preferences for rambunctious showiness and plasticity are magnified. Even though this house is different in style from others in the village, its similarity of format and scale saves it from disrupting the community harmony. But observe how the Victorian sensibility typically concentrates the characteristic five-bay organization of colonial and Federal elevations into three grander openings, here by coupling windows to either side of a residual “Palladian” centerpiece.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Jacob Morse House", [North Smithfield, 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, 242-242.

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