I can’t take too much credit for this renovation, as I was merely trying to channel the brilliance of the original architect. The more I experienced this gracious house the greater respect I had for Mr. Peter Jackson.

Dogwood at Locust Valley Farm was built for the Grinnell family in 1916, who had invented the sprinkler fire suppression system. It was built as a gentleman’s farm, with a lower entry and hunt room for the returning men, while upstairs, the living spaces are linked by galleries, which look out onto the river and waterfall. The kitchen and its pantries and larders were relegated to the servant’s wing. William Warner, the architect of downtown Providence, had been the last occupant and had moved the kitchen to a porch like space off the main front hall. Although, the view was better, it was cold and awkward, not allowing space for even the refrigerator and a long walk to the pantry for food storage.

The new owners from Vancouver asked me to redesign the house from the entry hall north. We called this a kitchen suite, but it extended to include the dining room, butler’s pantry, laundry, new sunroom and finally a west facing patio overlooking the river.
I relocated the kitchen back to its originally intended location, but fully utilized the butler’s pantry and the larder. The larder gave me the idea for the slotted cabinetry, which we had custom built. This repurposing allowed us to make what was originally an open porch and most recently the kitchen, a sunroom with views west to the river. The exterior shingles were replaced with ship lap siding and doors were inserted between the original columns. We had to have the mason extend the brick herringbone flooring out to the doors. In the dining room, the bay looking out to the fields received custom glass doors too.

I fashioned a small computer desk between the kitchen and the sunroom and imitated the tryptich of doors from the mudroom in this space. We elected to refurbish the antique gas stove and position it up against the bisque glazed brick wall. A stove pipe had damaged a portion of the brick, so we replaced what we could and lowered the top with a steel shelf atop. A modern oven and microwave are tucked around the corner in the pastry pantry. We were able to salvage the oak counters, refinish and reinstall them interspersed with Vermont Danby or Vermont Slate. I designed a sink and drainboard that was made from the Danby. The island was a custom piece expertly made by three cooperating trades. The original square kitchen table was cut and breadboarded to make a long farm table and I reinterpreted Mr. Jackson’s details for a built-in bench.


Gale Goff Architect, Little Compton, RI

Original 1916 Architect:
Peter Jackson, Providence, RI

Ed Lacross, Foster, RI

Newport Forge, Newport, RI

Olympian Construction, Fall River, MA

Custom doors & Cabinet doors:
Mark Vinbury, North Kingstown, RI

Interior Decorator:
Kate Jackson Design, Providence, RI

Anthony Crisafulli, Boston, MA