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A. S. Philips House

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c. 1900. 616 Bristol Ferry Rd.

This arresting Queen Anne house has a cobblestone base with shingled gables above pulled down over the second story. A little gable facing front insets a larger one, both butting into the principal gable, which runs the length of the house. All windows are vernacular in character, except at the very center of the composition, where a high-style Neo-Colonial scroll-topped dormer, tall, narrow, and white, serves as a brooch to focus the composition, echoed by a clipped dormer to one side. It is the barest badge of the Colonial Revival; but it brings a note of dignity, decorum, and order to what was then beginning to be considered an excess of “naturalness.” Regrettably (but customarily), the asphalt shingling of the principal gable destroys the homogeneity of cedar shingling, which once made an entity of these interlocked gables.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "A. S. Philips House", [Portsmouth, 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, 500-500.

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