Captain Joseph Tillinghast House


PPS’s Ten Most Edangered Wiki listing of this property.


AIR isn’t really sure what is going on at this 200+ year-old house, but it seems clear that the house is undergoing some renovation. After gaining some attention by being listed on the 10 Most Endangered list two years in a row, the owner must have felt the pressure to move on some sort of renovation. The clapboards have been largely replaced and a large bulge on the first floor where the wall seemed to have separated from the floor joists – no doubt from age and the constant vibrations of traffic zooming by – looks to have been repaired as well. A new roof is on the structure, and the windows seems to be ready to be primed and painted as well. But for what type of occupant we wonder? Commercial? Residential? This is prime real estate after the I-195 bridge has been removed.


From PPS’s 10 Most Nomination: Capt. Joseph Tillinghast, who commanded one of the boats involved in the burning of the Gaspee in 1772, built the ca. 1770 house on a site claimed by his great-grandfather Pardon Tillinghast in 1645. The site was also the location of the first wharf and warehouse in Providence. The 2 1/2-story, 5-bay-facade Tillinghast House has a center-hall-plan with two interior brick chimneys and a central, pedimented entrance with paneled pilasters. The house survived the 1801 South Main Street fire and is the one of the only remaining buildings of Providence’s colonial waterfront.

From HABS/HAER, circa 1962: Joseph Tillinghast acquired the property in 1767 and built this home probably soon after. The original entrance was replaced by the present Greek Revival doorway, probably about 1840. A small portion of the original hallway paneling, painted a medium olive green, was covered over when the doorway was added and is visible in a small closet beside the doorway. The first floor mantels have been partially altered, probably about the same time as the Greek Revival doorway was added, and some of the mantel shelves on the second floor fireplaces have also been altered.

The land and house were willed to Capt. Tillinghast’s two daughters after his death in 1826. Elizabeth G. Chandler drew the south part of the house, while Almy Ann Arnold drew the north part of the house.

Frame, clapboards, rectangular house, five bays wide, two-and-a-half stories with a gable roof. Central hall with four room plan and two inside chimneys; typical details, including pedimented two-story mantelpiece.

Robin Jun 14 2015 It is now (since c. 2013) Tir Na Nog Spa.

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