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Black Estate

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Mid-20th century. 960 Hartford Pk. (barely visible through evergreens)

Through the evergreens that nearly obscure this house, it is the extravagance of the wavy cut of wooden shingles, piled up to simulate thick thatching, which first catches the eye. The matted texture of the roof responds with picturesque effect to the projections and recessions of the supporting white stucco walls and the heave of dormers and gables. This house is saved from coyness by the severity of the opposition of roof to wall, by the skillful composition of its plastic massing, and by the press of all first-floor casement bands against the eaves of a roof extravagantly pulled down to them. Windows for the second floor and attic peek through the roof under trapdoor dormers at two levels, one of which is crossed by a projecting chimney. A peppering of carefully placed small windows and plaques sparingly relieves such plain surfaces as remain, like the cylindrical swell of the turret beside the entrance. The roughcast and thatched cottage that inspired English Arts and Crafts designers is blown up to country manor house size to accommodate a twentieth-century suburban fantasy that combines the cozy charm of a Cotswold cottage with the rustic pomp of a turreted Norman manor house.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Black Estate", [Scituate, 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, 268-269.

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