Fremont Street, #19

also known as The Pivorunas House

An unconventional home (for Providence) in a conventional working class neighborhood

About this Property

Design Reception

A reader alerted us to this new home nestled in a Fox Point neighborhood filled with single family homes and triple deckers, mostly clad in vinyl siding. We like it, especially because it makes a statement in the neighborhood, but it is not so ostentatious as to stick out like a bright coral Spanish revival, or another terrible vinyl-sided prefab home. It’s new and different without being out of place, and it seems to use materials and space well.

The site was a parking lot for twenty five or so years, as we believe the original buildings (2) were demolished in the late seventies or early eighties. Even though it is an old neighborhood, it is not a historic district, and as such it was not subject to a design review by the city. This made for a rather easy permitting process with no variances required. The cladding is tongue and groove white cedar on the top two floors and stucco at the base. The roof is flat rubber and features a small pergola.

The home was featured on the cover of the Boston Globe Sunday Home magazine in an article by William Morgan1, as well as several other publications. Architect and owner Jeff Pivorunas evolved the building from the inside out, a minimal statement held within the framework of a tight rectangle derived from zoning setbacks and height restrictions.

In a more recent article, William Morgan went on to say:

In designing his own house, architect Jeff Pivorunas carefully considered the ambiance of Fox Point, addressing issues of compatibility, materials, proportions, and scale. ¶ But the simplicity of the architect’s restrained, respectful, and well-crafted home has been misinterpreted by developers who shape domestic envelopes that do little more than displace legally allowed rental space.

In comparison to some of the less-inspired modernist boxes that have replaced smaller vernacular homes in the area, we think he is right. A modern box can be beautiful and can respect its neighbors, but it is far more difficult to craft a box in such a way. Take the way the once bright cedar planks have now aged and grayed like the shingles of a Cape Cod saltbox cottage. This makes the house less bright and more natural looking while also referencing a local style native to New England. We don’t see many other new modern boxes thinking ahead with such care.

  1. Morgan, William. “21st-Century Design Blossoms in Old New England.” Boston Globe Sunday Home, June 10.