December 16, 2017

RISD Professor, Architect Discusses ‘Historic Houses: Inside & Out’ at Essex Library, Friday

“Historic Houses: An Architect’s View Inside and Out” is the subject of a lecture Sept. 22, at Essex Library.

ESSEX — The 10th season of the Essex Library’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series kicks off Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. with Rhode Island School of Design Professor and Architect Jim Barnes. Barnes lives with his wife in a Queen Anne period home in the Elmwood Historic District of Providence. His talk, “Historic Houses: An Architect’s View Inside and Out” is a subject dear to his heart and will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects’ offices at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Barnes states that our experience of historic houses is most often framed by their exterior appearances.  We come to identify and understand historic time periods and changing styles of architecture through building forms, rooflines, materials, and even paint colors.  These are the elements of a public realm accessible to all.  Exterior patterns can build whole neighborhoods and clearly reflect our culture’s constantly shifting shared values.

We know less well interior spatial patterns, the private domestic realm hidden from view.  Yet we know the power of interior spatial arrangement to convey cultural values. Room placement, stairway arrangements and fireplaces are among the many tools that architects and builders use to shape and express domestic life. This illustrated talk will address the changing styles of historic houses in an historic Providence neighborhood by comparing the shifting patterns of exterior forms and interior floor plans from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

This program is free and open to the public. Call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560 to register or for more information. Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook.

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