Lippitt House

The nice folks at Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum were kind enough to give an evening tour to members of the Providence Athenaeum’s Contemporaries group.

Moonie “oohed” and “aahed” from the moment he stepped inside. Just this foyer is amazing, with the walls and ceilings hand-painted with faux marble and wood finishes.

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Henry Lippitt, who served as governor of RI in the 1870s, had constructed the house for his wife and six kids. The details are wonderful, with elaborate patterns painted in each room.

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For a 19th-century home, the Lippitt House was ahead of its time, featuring a state-of-the-art heating system that forced hot air from coal up through a system of heating vents.

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The dining room, per Victorian style, was masculine, with overt hunting themes in the carved wood details and paintings – even etched into the glass on the doors.

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The billiards room, once Hank – can I call him Hank? – and wife Mary Ann realized their daughters wouldn’t get married off particularly young and needed appropriate entertaining space for friends and suitors, was converted to a music room. Here’s a bit of a piano. (Note: I’m not sure if it’s THE piano, as generations of the Lippitt family continued to live in the house for 114 years. Some furniture was replaced over the years as tastes changed, although there are certainly original pieces still there, which photographs confirm were in place in Hank’s time. Those pictures are also on display in the house.)

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The music room also has a lovely pattern inlaid in the floor.

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And a lovely sink. I’m not sure I’d even want to wash my hands in something this fancy.

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Moonie enjoyed the fountain outside the best. Its statue featured a naked little bum, just like his!

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It’s the Lippitt House’s 150th anniversary, and Preserve Rhode Island has been celebrating in several ways leading up to a block party they have planned for June 28th with live music, food, and vendors. These metal sculptures in the yard re part of the anniversary celebration.

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They include bright pink, so Moonie approves.

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