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Thomas Burbank House

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Early to mid-19th century. 495 Douglas Pk.

Deep into the mid-nineteenth century now, yet the elevational formula from the eighteenth century through the Federal period persists, virtually untouched by the intervening Greek Revival and Italianate styles. Here it is barebones, the six-over-six windows, sash again inset in the modern manner behind the clapboarding. But how tensely rectangular is the effect in this elevation, with its insistence on the framing elements! The upper windows are set against the plain, decisive curve of the cornice molding; the tops of the lower ones, capped with the simplest of board projections, all aligned with the bottom of a basic rectangular transom. If the format survives from the Federal period, the beguiling graciousness of an elitist past seems to have been altered by the more aggressive, democratic sensibilities implicit in Greek Revival and Italianate taste. The cluster of barns and outbuildings across the way is worth notice, especially the corncrib (now rare in Rhode Island).

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Thomas Burbank House", [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, 259-259.

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