Marshall Woods House

Providence City, Providence County, RI

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The Marshall Woods House, ca. 1863 [1]

The house at 62 Prospect Street was built for Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Woods between 1860 and 1863 by Richard Upjohn, architect, of New York. It was owned by the Woods family until 1931, when it was acquired by Senator and Mrs. Peter Gerry. The Rhode Island School of Design bought the house and land in 1959.

Built in the spirit of the Italian Renaissance in accordance with other buildings being designed by Upjohn during this period, it affords an interesting contrast with such irregular, asymmetrical and heavily trimmed buildings as his Edward King House, now the People's Library, built in Newport in 1838, some twenty-two years earlier. The simplicity of detail, the continuing horizontal lines of belt courses and the swell of the curving bay emphasize the mass of walls, executed in the hard red Philadelphia brick, which gives the dense surface needed to complete the effect. The severity of the building, essentially a smooth, almost square form, is diminished on the east by the full high curved bay, on the south by the porte cochere, and on the west, which Mr. Woods considered the front of the house, by a one-story Renaissance arcaded porch or piazza extending almost the full width of the building. The structure is covered with a low hipped roof with a wide, shadowy overhang. The trim is of sandstone, and the flat belt courses carry unbroken lines around the corners of the building. The slightly arched French windows have cast iron grilles at the base and the caps found in other Upjohn buildings of about this date.

Marshall Woods was born in Providence, Rhode Island, November 1824 and died July 13, 1899 in London, England.

He was the only son of Dr. Alva and Almira (Marshall) Woods. His education was in the private schools of Providence and he graduated from Brown University in the class of 1845 and received his M.D. in 1848 from the University of the City of New York. He did not practice medicine but mostly gave his time to Brown University, becoming a trustee in 1856 and a senior member of the corporation in 1892. He was treasurer of the University from 1866 to 1882.

This house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 as the Woods-Gerry House.

  1. Prepared by Osmund R. Overby, Architect, National Park Service, April, 1962; Historic American Buildings Survey, HABS RI-222,, accessed August, 2012.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Prospect Street

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