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Louis Kotzow House

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c. 1875. 641 East Ave. (at Progress St.)

This beautifully maintained house, built for a jewelry manufacturer, illustrates the delightful manner in which the Queen Anne designer frequently gave vernacular carpentry exotic forms. Across an L-shaped mass, roofed with steep pitches, an oversized dormer, and deep overhangs, he fitted a Japanese-inspired porch. Its Japanese aura depends on its ensemble of heavy posts, the exaggerated horizontality of its scroll bracketing, the frieze with alternating panels of revealed structure and scroll-cut ornament, the simulated strapping of the ends of the bracketing to the structure above (like the metal straps which bind adjacent timbers in Japanese building), the flare of the roof and the upward slant of its underside plane. In the frieze panels, too, the delicate leaves and berries sawn and drilled from stencil patterns may also have been meant to recall Japanese flower painting on paper wall panels (although the same can hardly be said of the stencil-sawn ornamentation of the board balustrading). The simple elegance of the ornamented frames of the upstairs windows also suggests Japanese precedent. This and the house described in the next entry were built on sites purchased from the German Cooperative Land Association of Providence, with right of first refusal for the association should an owner sell.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Louis Kotzow House", [Pawtucket, 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, 138-138.

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