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William B. Spencer House I

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1847. 2 Ames St. (at Fairview Ave.)

Made more commanding by its siting on a steep rise over the Pawtuxet, the first of two houses built by William B. Spencer is among the finest and most elaborate Greek Revival houses in the state. It boasts a two-story, four-columned Corinthian temple front, with flanking hip-roofed wings. Downhill, toward Fairview Avenue, at a lower level, yet another hip-roofed appendage with its own porch supported at its outside corner by a single Doric column animates the composition in an exceptionally picturesque manner for the style. The client was a merchant and store owner in Phenix and Lippitt, as well as a bank president and undertaker. The house is the more attractively sited because a pathway from this point to Harris (the next village upstream, in Coventry) winds through a linear park, which suggests the great potential for wooded walkways along much of the Pawtuxet.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "William B. Spencer House I", [West Warwick, 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, 326-326.

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