Friday, May 05, 2006

Lovecraft's Providence: Angell Street

Henry L P Beckwith, Jr [*] has written a marvelous tour of Lovecraft's hometown. In it he discusses Angell Street at length.

"...on the northwest corner {of Elmgrove Avenue and Angeel Street} is Lovecraft's birthpalce {454 Angell Street}. The original lot was far larger than the present corner lot, extending north two-thirds of the way to Adelphi Avenue and west to Angell Court. Continuing west you will quickly come to an area where the north side of Angell Street is bordered by a high wall ... a forty acre tract ... originally set aside and walled as Dexter Asylum, a poor farm, in the nineteenth century. Within was a marvelously Charles-Addamsish residence for the inmates ... {when Brown University purchased the property there was an auction} ...a group of old wooden coffins.

"Number 276 Angell Street, now Hamilton House, is the "sumptuous, but hideous French-roofed mansion," that {Lovecraft designated as 'the Archer Harris House' in The Shunned House. It is a remarkable building built in the early twentieth century rather than in 1876, and Lovecraft dates it.

"The original home lots ... ran from The Towne Street (North and South Main Streets) up and over College Hill to what is now Hope Street as long narrow strips.

"The piece allotted to Thomas Angell in 1636 was a bit north of Angell Street, which is named for him."

[1] Lovecraft's Providence & Adjacent parts, Henry L. P. Becwith, Jr., Donlad M Grant, West Kingston, RI, 1979, pp. 59-63

Here are the very few snapshots of Angell Street I could locate.

^598 Angell, HPL's birthplace.

^The Archer Harris House, aka, 276 Angell Street

^598 Angell Street

c. 1907 Angell Street

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