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

Overview

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.

Stewardship

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:

Urban Farm

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.

Historical Photos of the Walker House
Historical Photos of the Walker House

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Walker House with back gardens
Walker House with back gardens

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Walker House with front wood fence
Walker House with front wood fence

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Historical Photos of the Walker House
Historical Photos of the Walker House

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For more information on the Philip Walker House, e-mail Paul Trudeau, Program and Property Manager.