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34 Thames Street
The Phillip Stevens House, c.1745, is on its original site. It is a four bay square plan house with a gable roof. The house has two stories and has a fine pediment doorway that seems to be original. The chimney in this house is located so that fireplaces on each floor heat the front and back rooms. The more usual plan for a house of this date would position the chimney so that three rooms could be served by individual fireplaces on each floor, leaving only the narrow room occupying the single bay unheated. In the case of the Stevens House this is the bay to the right of the front door.
In the basement, the base of the chimney is a type usually found in the early nineteenth century. The base is smaller and simpler than those built in the eighteenth century since they no longer needed to support a large kitchen fireplace. Furthermore, the construction is a mixture of brick some dating to the mid-eighteenth century, some of nineteenth century origin, and some from a private restoration done in the early 1960s. The tentative conclusion presently put forth is that the chimney may have been rebuilt in the early nineteenth century and this may have allowed some changes in the floor plan.
The Phillip Stevens House is only house owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation that was initially saved by Operation Clapboard and purchased by a private individual who conducted the restoration work. Certain period details were introduced to the house during the 1960s restoration to replace the original material. These elements included over-mantles, doors, mantles, and some moldings.
Photo of the house before restoration.