PHILIP WALKER HOUSE - ca. 1724
An early example of the square-house plan in Rhode Island
Progress Report: Transforming Walker House Into an Urban Farm
Located on a prominent 1-acre lot at the intersection of Massasoit Ave. and N. Broadway in East Providence, the ca. 1724 Philip Walker House is an exceptional example of an early Rhode Island house. The house has a complex architectural history – it retains much of its historic detail – including its original square plan – but has been modified over the years with additions and alterations in the late 18th century, late 19th century, and mid-20th century. The house was donated to Preserve Rhode Island in 1982 and holds great historical significance to the City of East Providence and to the State.
In 2008, PRI undertook a major rehabilitation - repairing structural deficiencies and updating systems, the bathroom and kitchen - for use as a full-time residence for PRI's Property Manager at the time. In 2015, PRI developed a Study House Program to increase public use of the property, particularly for architectural history and historic preservation students. The Study House Program is currently on hold while tenant farmers are living at the property, but you can find the materials to take a "virtual tour" of the structure here:
In 2020, PRI embarked on a new pathway for the house and grounds. Honoring its agricultural history – at one point over 150 acres of farmland – a proposal was accepted for live-in farmer tenants to convert the large front yard into an urban farm. This new use will help PRI maintain the historic house while providing a productive community resource.
For more information on the Philip Walker House, e-mail Paul Trudeau, Program and Property Manager.