Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On Broadway, Part 3

This post concludes a three-part series on Broadway Victorians with a look at three houses built between 1889-1892.

Today one is a mixed-use building, one is a private home, and one is a social/civic club. All three houses are 2 1/2 story Queen Annes, which was a popular style of architecture from 1880 to about 1910. The American Queen Anne style, for those who don't know (and I looked it up!) includes, among other features, an asymmetrical facade, a dominant front-facing gable, a round, square, or polygonal tower, a porch on the front of the house(often topped with a second-story porch), and a slate or wood roof. You can see all of these architectural features in the three houses whose photos are shown below.

William H. Walton House, Broadway, Providence RI
William H. Walton House, 1889
The William H. Walton House was built in 1889. It features a cross-gable roof, a Colonial Revival front porch, and an octagonal corner tower (which you can just see beyond the front gable). Mr. Walton was a textile manufacturer with factories in South County, and his family occupied the house until the late 1920s. Shortly thereafter it was acquired by the Aurora Club, an Italian-American civil and social organization, which finalized the purchase in December, 1931. Today, the club boasts 320 members, both men and women, of diverse ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.

Charles L. Eaton House, Broadway, Providence RI
Charles L. Eaton House, 1889
The Charles L. Eaton House, built the same year as the Walton House, features a slate-clad mansard roof, a square corner tower, several dormers, and a covered second-story porch (which was an early 20th century addition). Eaton was an agent for the City Machine Company at Harris and Acorn Streets in Providence. Today the building houses medical offices and apartments.

Francine R. Trowbridge House, Broadway, Providence RI
Francine R. Trowbridge House, 1892
The Francine R. Trowbridge House offers another version of the Queen Anne tower--this one a three-story tower with a cone-shaped roof and a false balcony around the top story. The wonderful front porch features three archways with bulbous, turned posts. The house was built in 1892 by Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Trowbridge--he was a cotton broker on South Water Street in Providence. As far as I know, it is privately owned.

Illustration Credits and References

All photos by author.

Information on the individual houses appears in the work Providence, A Citywide Survey of Historic Resources, by William McKenzie Woodward and Edward F. Sanderson, published by the RI Historical Preservation Commission in 1986.

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