The Arnold-Palmer house (not related to the drink), a handsome brick single residence of the Federal period, was built about 1826 by Daniel Arnold, a wealthy Providence merchant who did well in the economic expansion of the 1820s and 30s. The home is attributed to John Holden Greene, a Providence architect who commonly incorporated a monitor roof in his designs. Daniel Arnold focused his wealth on flour trade, but he speculated in cotton as well, as did many of the merchants in Providence at the time. The connection of Providence with southern states and plantations demonstrate how tightly bound Rhode Island’s industrial economy was with Southern cotton and the enslaved people who produced it, with manufacturing and cotton mills all over Rhode Island. By the 1850s, Arnold’s house was sold to Joseph Palmer, who, through the firm of Palmer & Capron, manufactured gold rings in Providence’s growing jewelry business. The house was built in Cathedral Square a part of Downtown and was moved to its present site when that part of Providence was nearly entirely razed in urban renewal. While the siting is less than desirable, this rare surviving Federal home in downtown shows how the wealth and prosperity of Providence was not only restricted to College Hill.
This cute brick house in Boxborough, MA, was built c. 1832 by the Revolutionary War veteran Peter Wheeler where he lived until his death in 1847. The home sits on a heavily trafficked street, yet retains much of its architecture and even historic windows, despite its conversion to commercial use! The brick house features e 6/6 double-hung units on the first story and 3/3 in the second, with the central window featuring stunning stained glass.
Damn I just love old brick Federal houses! This home in Boxborough, MA was constructed in 1804 for Dr. Daniel Robbins, who owned a one-story wooden home on the site in 1798. As building materials were expensive at the time, Robbins likely incorporated that structure as one of the side additions to this new brick house you see here. Robbins served as a town doctor until his death in 1837, and would treat patients in his home or ride on horseback to treat sick residents nearby.
This stunning Greek Revival house was built in 1845 for Barzillai Bulkley Kellogg (yes, it is possibly the coolest name ever) on a peninsula jutting out into Candlewood Lake, the largest lake in the state of Connecticut. The lake was created in the 1920s, destroying homes and flooding land, but providing recreational opportunities and desirable house lots along the new shore line, perfect for New Yorkers who began moving out to the suburbs at the time. Luckily, this home was spared, due to its location on high ground. Barzillai B. Kellogg (1818-1882) worked in town as a school teacher at one of the district schoolhouses, but his connections and business sensibilities forced him to become more involved with the economy. He later owned a brickyard and operated a farm on his land, and likely built his home with bricks manufactured at his plant, providing a sort of advertisement to their quality. He was later involved in banking. This home is especially interesting as it features the cubic form and shallow/flat roof seen in Italianate homes, but has a colonnade porch supported by Ionic columns and a bold entablature under the eaves of the building, punctured by attic windows.
The Frederick W. Lewis Mansion in Newport, New Hampshire is a unique, late-Second Empire home constructed of brick. The home was built in 1876 for Frederick W. Lewis, a merchant who climbed the ranks as a young man, eventually purchasing the store he worked at as a 14-year-old. In 1862, he became cashier of the Sugar River Bank, and held the position until 1865, when the bank was re-organized as a national bank, taking the name of “The First National Bank of Newport.” He then leveraged his position to get into local politics, and took an active role in the development of the town, even incentivizing the railroad to build a stop in town. From this wealth and position, he built this large home. After his death, the home went to his son. By the 1940s, a group of over 30 residents of town purchased the home as a Veteran’s Home. By the end of the 20th century, the home was occupied by the Newport Earth Institute, a school created by esoteric historian and researcher Reverend Vincent Bridges, who died in 2014. The property appears to be vacant now and the home is in much need of some TLC.
All I want for Christmas is a brick Federal house! This home in Stockbridge, Massachusetts was constructed in 1830 by Thomas Carter (1777-1863) and his wife Anna. The couple farmed the property and had eleven children (plus two who died in childbirth). According to a family history, the lime for the mortar on the home was burned in a kiln on the property by Thomas. The ancestral home remained in the family for generations, including by John Calvin Calhoun Carter, a town selectman, who added a full-length porch on the home in the mid-late 19th century (since removed). The home’s rural charm remains even-though it sits on a busy road in the Berkshires.
On the rural back roads of Suffield, CT, it is amazing how many historic farmhouses you can stumble upon. This is the Lewis-Zukowski Farmhouse, built in 1781, as one of the earliest brick homes built in this part of the state. When Hezekiah Lewis (?-1805) built his house in 1781, he was a farmer of modest prosperity. By the time of his death in 1805, he was somewhat wealthier, perhaps because of his second marriage in 1794 to widow Ruth Phelps, as his 91-acre farm. His estate indicates he was a traditional farmer of the period: he had a yoke of oxen, 2 horses, 2 cows, and 2 pigs, suggesting that he was primarily raising sustenance for his family, not products for market. Michael Zukowski arrived in Suffield in 1888 with his family as an immigrant from Poland. Zukowski worked on a farm in town for $8.00 a month plus board for local tobacco farmer Calvin Spencer. He had saved enough by 1905 to pay Hiram Knox (then the owner of the former Lewis Farm) $2,800 in cash, purchasing the property. Zukowski worked the farm until the 1920s, when his son took it over and he moved to another farm nearby. The house remained in the family one more generation until it was sold out of the family. It remains as an architecturally and culturally significant farm in Suffield.