Toward the top of the hill is the largest of the Summit Street houses, commissioned by a descendant of the Jenks family, pioneer mechanicindustrialists in eighteenth-century Pawtucket. Albert Jenks was president of Fales and Jenks, the textile machinery plant in adjacent Central Falls. By the turn of the century the revival of colonial and Federal styles was well underway, and the designer of this house attempted to catch up with the new fashion. He remained, however, hopelessly mired in the Victorian past. The “colonial” hipped roof is here really a mansard. The uniformity and reticence of colonial dormers here become boisterous with strangely scaled broken scroll pediments and other variations. The two-story semicircular porch toward Summit and the bay toward Potter are overblown, while the spindly “classical” columns and balusters of the sprawl of porches and porte-cochere recall Victorian posts. And so on. But such misunderstandings make for a lively hybrid effect.
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Albert A. Jenks House
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