This expansive Colonial Revival house is interesting because its original owner was the father of a principal in the firm which designed it. The family relationship suggests that Charles Carpenter, trained in Victorian ways, worked in the shadow of the youngest partner, Edmund Willson, Rhode Island's most creative Colonial Revival designer. The result is bloated “colonial,” with the ballooning curves of the porch and second-story window bays as culminating features. The contrast between the over-assertive center dormer and its tiny accompaniments with pinched scrolls on either side, the medieval casements upstairs, the spectacular spread of the entrance and its glazed enframement—all further suggest a venture into unfamiliar territory. But the design fascinates as an ebullient and even touching statement of stylistic betwixt-and-between.
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Asa Carpenter House
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