Mowry Nicholson House


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Once on the Providence Preservation Society’s Top Ten Endangered List, the Mowry-Nicholson House was renovated into a Victorian Bed and Breakfast Inn. This 1865 mansion offers comfortable rooms and suites and a large front porch with panoramic views of historic Providence.


From PPS’s Gowdey Library, Records for 57 Brownell St. Research compiled by Judith A. Barlow, May, June 2007.

Originally built as a cruciform-plan Italianate villa; remodeled in 1867 and again in 1877 with a northwest addition, including a 3-1/2 story tower with quoins, oculus windows and a steeply pitched roof. The house is now 2-1/2 stories with Italianate and Queen Anne detailing. Its gabled front is dominated by wide paneled corner pilasters and has a Palladian window over a bracketed window hood at the facade. Shed dormer on the cross gable added in the mid-1920s.

The house was built in 1856 for the residence of William G. R. Mowry by his contracting firm, Mowry & Steere. Ten years later, William T. Nicholson, owner of the nearby Nicholson File Company, purchased the house and modified it in 1867 and 1877, according to tax records. William died in October 1893 and his widow Elizabeth continued to live in the house until 1897. Following her death, the estate sold the house to Jane V. Bailey, widow of Richard A. Bailey, a foreman at A. T. Cross.

Claire Feb 4 2018 I believe this B&B is closed :(

James F. O’Gorman Sep 21 2015 Nathaniel Mowry, (1774-1843) of Smithfield, his son, William G. R. Mowry (1810-92) of Providence, and William T. Nicholson all successively signed (or stamped) the copy of Edward Shaw’s Civil Architecture (2d ed., 1832) now in the Hay Library at Brown.

Pat Murphy Nov 9 2014 My grandparents from New Jersey briefly lived in Providence in 1916 and 1917 and according to records 57 Brownell was an address they briefly stayed at, it was called B & S Rooms. My grandfather was a guard, probably at a nearby factory.

Corey I think it all depends on documentation. If they could find photographs, renderings, etc of the house without the dormers, then they’d have every right to get rid of them in the process of the restoration. They may not have been able to dig up documentation that the house didn’t have that feature, so even though it’s obvious to us looking at it, on paper they can’t do anything. Also, it might have been too expensive for them to get rid of the dormers than just to leave them there, even with tax credits, so after finding that out they may not have even tried to prove they weren’t there.

Vin It’s unfortunate that in their haste to “restore” the manse; the owners decided to leave the terrible addition tacked upon this victorian lady. It’s out of scale and overpowering for this beautiful home. But you gotta fill them rooms, huh?

To counter your point, Vin, I believe that because they used Historic Tax Credits, they had to keep the third floor dormers as they were. To remove them would have altered the historic structure too much. Often the tax credits make you leave on additions that are not accurate, but still quite old – AIR

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