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Potter and Johnstone Machine Company

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1899 and later. 1001 Newport Ave. (at Saratoga Ave.)

The Potter-Lumb House is another version of the Edward McCaughley House ( PA26), of the same date, but much grander (too grand for the format), with three stories rather than two fitted under its spreading hipped roof. James Potter, a partner in a machine tool company, built the house diagonally across the street from his factory, for his daughter Mae on her marriage to Ralph Lumb, who was treasurer of the Lumb Knitting Company. Earlier, c. 1915, Potter had made a similar gift of the stucco Neo-Colonial house next door, number 1012 and also handsome, to his daughter Elizabeth at the time of her marriage. He himself lived at number 1042, in a Queen Anne house built for Herbert S. Jenks, a superintendent for a cotton company (1897–1898, purchased by Potter in 1902). All three houses are now nicely maintained as funeral homes. Johnson was also among the most prominent backers of Slater Park.

Potter's factory contains an alternating pier-and-window wall with corbeled inset at the top of each tier of windows. Sheets of plate glass now replace the multi-paned wooden sash of the original windows. Now headquarters for Hasbro, a major toy manufacturer, it has been playfully modernized on the interior by a group of artists and interior designers. In a more architectural vein, a walled garden court off the cafeteria employs lawn, flowering trees, and terracing patterned in black and gray granite to make a restrained but beautifully proportioned space (court by Richard Fleischner, environmental sculptor, 1980s; visitable only with permission).

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Potter and Johnstone Machine Company", [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, 151-152.

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