Early Rhode Island Houses: An Historical and Architectural Study

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Combined with beautiful plate illustrations, this work gives a detailed overview of some of Rhode Island's earliest structures. The book also shows floor plans, elevations and section drawings of the early structures to show how they were really lived in.

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Page 6 - We hope that this essay will be a help to the future historians of New England and that it will promote the collection of scientific data about the oldest houses in the original New England colonies, so that the vague descriptions of too many of our town histories may be supplemented by accurate measured drawings.
Page 5 - As far as the book goes, however, we claim for it considerable accuracy, and whatever may be the reader's opinion of the theories put forth in the text, he may rest assured that the drawings are veritable historical data. Every plan, elevation and section is based upon measurements of the house it illustrates...
Page 23 - SSS (Plate 5), which were made to project a couple of inches to prevent the rain-water from running down the chimney face into the house, leave no doubt of the original position of the rafters. Their evidence may always be relied on, whatever the position of the modern roof. The original house, then (Plate 6), was no doubt such as the restoration shows.
Page 5 - ... data. Every plan, elevation and section is based upon measurements of the house it illustrates; and the perspectives are made — two from pencil sketches made on the spot, the rest of the number from photographs. We have thus personally examined, sometimes from garret to cellar, every house described...
Page 43 - In the longitudinal section (Plate 31) can be seen two slanting beams cutting across the trusses, and interrupting the common rafters (7*) supported by their purlins. These are the valley rafters of the old gable which once existed on the front of the house. The fact that the rafter on which they meet does not run down to the plate, and never did run down, is proof of this. We know it never ran down because the collar beams...
Page 43 - Plate 31) now filling in the space between the two valleys are newer, and are nailed to them, a thing not dreamed of by the ancient carpenters. Finally, the mortises for the gable purlins still exist in the valley rafters — which are laid flatwise and halved into the truss rafters...
Page 17 - D, which is that of the Brown house, all of brick, on the grounds of Butler HOspital. It is also a very common disposition of an endchimney, when an old house has been lengthened, as mentioned above, at the end opposite the original chimney. But this form seems never to have been developed further. Another, and a more convenient, supplanted it, and it was only after many years that it reappears, and then it does not have its original form; it is rather a fresh discovery.
Page 18 - ... relation to the old room as before ; and the door, which in some old houses opened upon the stairs, has been brought naturally into the centre of the new front, without changing its old location. Soon the two rooms became equal, with the chimney still in the centre, and now nothing except detail distinguishes the Rhode Island house from those of the neighboring colonies. Next, each room had its chimney ( G, Plate 1 ) and the hall ran through the house.
Page 42 - K, the additional end girt Z and the second story summer, which here, as in the Thomas Fenner house, runs across the house, are notched down upon the plate over the second summer (corresponding to the plate on that side in the Fenner house), and, projecting beyond, are tenoned into the rafters in the rear of the roof, which run down and frame into the lower plate (marked W in Plate 30).
Page 23 - plate," "summer," "side girt," " end girt," " chimney girt," " floor joist," " rafter," " collar beam," and " post " will constantly recur, and a glance at Plate 7 will explain what they are, better than many words of definition. From this description, with a study of the drawings which accompany it, the reader can form a clear idea of the original house of the settlers of Providence. With such houses as these, with their gables toward the street and their chimneys toward the hill, the old " Towne...

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