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Reverend Francis Smith House

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1850. 35 Benefit St.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

The set-back Francis Smith House, more modest in mien, invokes a country villa rather than a palace. Its bracketed door hood, playful and pretty, provides a sort of bonnet for the entrance. The flat, carpentered window frames have paneled overlays across their tops and drops (more than brackets) partway down the sides, which are sawn at the ends ornamentally. The cornice, too, is so abundantly bracketed and the brackets are so flatly handled as almost to become a tasseled edge. Thomas Tefft, who pioneered in Italianate styles with round-arched windows and frequently handled villas of this type with just such reductive inventiveness, may be responsible for this design. The last three examples all show the low, flaring, flat-topped mansard which was popular in early Victorian examples of the feature.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Reverend Francis Smith House", [Providence, 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, 74-74.

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