What in blazes is that!?

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Huh? (Photo by Cliff Vanover)

My friend and mapmeister Cliff Vanover sent me the above photo of … heck if I know! He says it sits in Little Compton – Little Compton! – just west of Route 77 near the entrance to the Sakonnet Vineyards, once Rhode Island’s vintner extraordinaire, but, after falling on hard times, bought by Alex & Ani, the lifestyle conglomerate that seems to be gobbling up the state. Today the Sakonnet Vineyards! Tomorrow, the world! Now called Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, it may for all I know still be producing drinkable wines.

But what’s that across the road? Does Carolyn realize that alien forces are marshaling against her tidy little field of grapes? Or maybe not. Maybe it is just the residence of a standard-issue sado-masochist. On the other hand, look at all those trucks. Either the aliens are moving in or the place is some sort of commercial operation. But of what sort? Or maybe it is a nonprofit, or a philanthropic institute, some outfit run by a nut with a world-class artist-wannabe complex? Or maybe it is the new addition to a genteel art museum waiting to be helicoptered into place. Those seem to be Quonset huts nearby. What does that mean? In this day and age even such a hulk can hardly be a bomb shelter. Maybe Donald Trump’s proposed relocation of Area 51 to the Ocean State has already been accomplished.

What sort of person would inflict such an abomination on beautiful Rhode Island? And what sort of county permitting commission would permit it?

Later today arrives the answer: “Concrete ‘Castle’ Turns Heads in Little Compton,” by EastBayRI.com, published last September. It is a house. Local building official Bill Moore says he gets a call a day about it. It is rumored to have been designed by Providence architect Friedrich St. Florian, famous for Providence Place and the National World War II Memorial, in Washington. I hope not! It is owned, according to eastbayri.com, by Domenic and Laurie Carcieri. Have they no shame?

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Home of Domefic and Laurie Carcieri. (eastbayri.com)

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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2 Responses to What in blazes is that!?

  1. The “Quonset huts” are greenhouses. The construction is already on Google Satellite View. For an unsullied street view: https://goo.gl/maps/1BNeuQnfnKQ2
    The owners are in the assessor’s database here: http://gis.vgsi.com/LittleComptonRI/Parcel.aspx?pid=261

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  2. How could this be a house? But a house it is – apparently – http://www.eastbayri.com/stories/concrete-castle-turns-heads-in-little-compton,16594 – being built for attorney Domenic Carcieri…

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