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Mill Duplex

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1860s. 261 Mountaindale Rd.

Mountaindale Road once led from Spragueville to a small village centered in a machine shop for the textile industry, before its conversion to various textile operations, which ceased around 1880. From these enterprises another duplex remains, one of such commanding scale that it may have housed mill overseers or served as a boardinghouse. The gentleness of the Federal scale and detailing in the preceding example intensifies awareness of the bristling magnification of these aspects here. All windows are doubled and decisively capped, with doubled doors at the center coupled by a minimal but broad and strongly projecting Greek Revival cornice. Transoms and side lights glazed down to the floor surround the butted doors, so that they share the middle side light. The entrance's broad frame and entablature appear to be exploded away from the doors by the intervening transparency in a manner which incongruously calls to mind modernist effects more than Greek Revival. The tall, narrow proportions of the windows and their doubling, however, are typical for the early Victorian Italianate style just then emergent.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Mill Duplex", [Smithfield, 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, 255-256.

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