William G. Low House

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William G. Low House
1962 photo from the Historical American Buildings Survey
General information
Status Demolished
Type Seaside cottage
Architectural style Shingle style
Address 3 Low Lane
Town or city Bristol, Rhode Island
Construction started 1886
Completed 1887
Demolished 1962
Client William G. Low
Design and construction
Architect Charles McKim
Architecture firm McKim, Mead & White
Known for Highest example of the Shingle style

Now an icon of American architecture, the demolished William G. Low House was a seaside cottage at 3 Low Lane in Bristol, Rhode Island.

It was designed in 1886-87 by architect Charles McKim of the New York City firm, McKim, Mead & White. With its single, exaggerated, 140-foot-long (43 m) gable, it embodied many of the tenets of Shingle Style architecture — horizontality, simplified massing and geometry, minimal ornamentation, the blending of interior and exterior spaces.

The architectural historian Vincent Scully saw it as "at once a climax and a kind of conclusion" for McKim, since its "prototypal form ... was almost immediately to be abandoned for the more conventionally conceived columns and pediments of McKim, Mead, and White's later buildings."[1]

Just prior to its 1962 demolition, the house was documented with measured drawings and photographs by the Historic American Buildings Survey.[2]

According to architectural historian Leland Roth, "Although little known in its own time, the Low House has come to represent the high mark of the Shingle Style."[3]


  1. ^ Scully, Vincent (1971) [1955]. The Shingle Style and the Stick Style. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 153. ISBN 9780300015195. 
  2. ^ "Low, William G., House (supplemental materials)" (PDF). Historic American Buildings Survey. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. May 1975. 
  3. ^ Roth, Leland M. (2001). American Architecture: A History. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. p. 246. ISBN 9780813336626. 

Coordinates: 41°38′53″N 71°15′48″W / 41.64806°N 71.26333°W / 41.64806; -71.26333

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