Built at 199 Hope Street in Providence for textile merchant Henry Lippitt, his wife Mary Ann Balch Lippitt and their six children, the house was completed in 1865 and occupied by several generations of the Lippitt family for 114 years. Over the years the family made only a few changes respecting the historic integrity of Photo by Harber Photographytheir ancestor's legacy. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and is an exceptional testament to local craftsman of the time. The only outside decorating firm hired to work on the house was Pottier and Stymus, a design firm from New York hired at the beginning of their career. The majority of their furnishings still exist in the house.
In 1865 the Lippitt's new home, a three story, twenty room Renaissance Revival with Italian Palazzo elements positioned the family to a new social standing in 19th century Providence. Embellished with elaborate faux finishes from the walls to the ceilings, marble statues, colorful stained glass windows, ornately carved woodwork details and monogrammed dining service the family was ready to entertain in high style. Visitors included the founding families of Providence and the renowned Professor Alexander Graham Bell and later generations entertained Cole Porter and Jack Lemmon.
By 1979 the Lippitt family descendants started to look for stewards outside of the family to Governor Henry Lippittcare for their National Historic Landmark. In the early 80's the house was given to Preserve Rhode Island and after almost 10 years of restoration the house was opened as a museum bursting with the elaborate detail of high style Victorian decoration and family collection that brings to life 19th century Providence.
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