Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The William Binney House, Providence, RI

The William Binney House, Providence, RI. 1859
Photo: HABS
The William Binney house is another work by Alpheus Morse on College Hill in Providence. Built in 1859, it is another fine example of the Anglo-Italianate features of Providence's symmetrical plan homes for the wealthy. It is brick with brownstone detailing, divided into two sections by a belt course above the first floor, and has a small bracketed cornice without a frieze. Hood moldings are cornices with brackets on the first and second floor with simple moldings on the third floor's small windows. The central window on the second floor is enlivened by a pediment. What I find lovely about this house is the delicate Federal style doorway. It projects from the house with Tuscan pilasters surrounding an arched doorway. Morse seemed to like these projecting classical styled entrances. The balustrade over the entrance is a real treat, made of carved interlocking rings, an expensive element. The house has a massive classically styled monitor, a low cupola on the peak of the roof. That is a feature that definitely does not occur often in Providence Italianates. That Again, Providence's architects chose fineness of detail and harmonious proportions over elaborate ornament in their design.

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