Samuel Randall House


Samuel Randall House 

Samuel Randall House 31 Baker Street in Winter 2009

The Warren Preservation Society owns the Samuel Randall House at 31 Baker Street.   When the organization purchased the building in 1998 it had aluminum siding and most of the architectural details had been removed.  WPS received a Rhode Island State grant to do an architectural survey of the property.  Lombard Pozzi, a local architect who specializes in historic architecture was hired and the survey was completed in 2001.  The organization moved it's headquarters into the first floor.  Today the house currently operates as a five-unit apartment building.

In 2005, with existing funds and a private loan, WPS was able to begin structural repairs to the building.  Using the architectural survey, WPS realized that it was critical to address the roof and leaks in order to prevent further damage. First, one of the four chimneys was restored, and the roof was replaced in 2006.  Next, the interior stairway and hallway was restored, and a number of the apartments were painted and updated.  Finally, in the summer of 2008 the massive effort to restore the building's exterior began.  The clapboard, window frames, and soffits were repaired by Scott's Woodworking of Warren.  Jonathan Glatt produced 100 hand carved corbels for the exterior facade and the building was painted.  The heating system was updated with five high-efficiency gas units and energy saving updates were made to the electrical system.

Currently the house contains five apartment units. Most have been upgraded with new kitchens and bathrooms over the past five years.  The grounds have been landscaped with a beautiful garden on the east side of the property.  In the summer of 2017, the exterior of the house was painted and repairs were made to the clapboard and windows.  Insulation was added to some of the exterior walls during this process.  The garage and the monitor have also been completely restored.  Plans for the future include painting the main hallways and staircases, as well as some plumbing and bathroom updates in the apartments.

Maintaining and operating a building the size of the Randall House is a challenging and rewarding task for the Warren Preservation Society.  As a non-profit organization we are truly thankful to the individuals who have dedicated their time to the restoration of this beautiful house.

View photos of the restoration on our WPS Flickr page

www.flickr.com

History 

The Samuel Randall House at 31 Baker Street, built shortly after 1808, is a structure with classic Federal era proportions.

This building is important to the architectural history of the town.  Patricia Maxwell, the daughter of James Maxwell, a wealthy ship merchant, received the house as a wedding gift from her family.  The Samuel Randall House is considered to be one of five "wedding present houses" located in the historic district.

Samuel Randall was born in Sharon, Massachusetts, in 1778, and graduated from Brown University in 1804.  He studied law before moving to Warren, where he took charge of a school before entering the printing business and becoming postmaster, a position held held from 1811 to 1845.  He also served as Warren's Town Clerk, retiring from service in 1860.  He died on March 5, 1864.

It is a 3-story dwelling with a hip roof and monitor, two rebuilt chimneys, central entry with a bracketed hood.  It retains its original window patterns, five windows aligned horizontally and three vertically, in symmetrical rows, the lower two floors with large, double-hung windows with twelve panes of glass, those above, on the third floor, with six-over-six paned windows, the panes on all of them separated by thin window supports, or muntins.

The residential structure was a handsome building, erected during the Federal era, between 1783 and 1814, a formative time of American history.  The American Federal style is directly related to mid 17th century architecture of England.  In the United States, especially in the maritime towns of the Atlantic Seaboard, with their close mercantile ties to England, the Federal style found its greatest popularity with the wealthy, sea-trading merchants.