Immediately south of Athenaeum Row is the Eliza Ward House. The owner was Joseph Brown's daughter and the early widow of Richard Ward, from a prominent Newport political family. This Federal house in brick, raised on a high granite base, originally had an entrance one story above street level. After purchasing the house from Mrs. Ward's collateral descendants, the banking, electric company, and traction line tycoon Marsden J. Perry commissioned extensive interior changes from the firm that would shortly design his bank and office building. These involved, among others, the creation at street level of a library-study to the left of a new entrance and a stair up to the elevated principal floor with a mid-story oriel window where the original entrance had been. All reveal Stone, Carpenter and Willson's sure, delicate touch, tending to be more piquant than its sources. The interior (not open to the public) contains a double parlor papered in Dufour landscape scenes. Here, for a while, Perry installed his splendid and growing collection of American and English eighteenth-century furniture, before moving on to much grander quarters ( PR96.1).
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Eliza Ward–Marsden J. Perry House
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