Queen for a New Day
This Old House Magazine|November/December 2020
This Old House takes on a timeworn but beautifully crafted Queen Anne, adding on, opening up, and piecing back together the details that make it special
DEBRA JUDGE SILBER

WHEN MICHAEL CAMPOPIANO TOOK HIS SON to see the house he’d just bought, 9-year-old Giulian took one look at the ramshackle building and turned to his dad. “You can’t show this to Mommy,” he advised. “She will never live here.”

Giulian’s worry was understandable. While Queen Anne in the beachside Pier Neighborhood of Narragansett, Rhode Island, was an old-house lover’s delight with its stained-glass windows, embellished bargeboards, and a medley of shingle styles, it was also in pitiful disrepair. Paint flaked from its sides; the front porch was rotted and sagging. Inside, linoleum curled up from the floors and lath showed through cracks in the plaster.

It was, in other words, a perfect project to launch This Old House’s 42nd television season.

“It’s a classic,” says TOH home builder Jeff Sweenor, referring to the Victorian-era exterior embellishments. Located in Narragansett’s historic district, the 1,700-square-foot Daniel A. Caswell house, as it’s known, was built between 1887 and 1890, as Narragansett was developing into a fashionable seaside resort. Michael and his wife, Kassiane, live in nearby Cranston, where both grew up spending summers on Narragansett’s beaches, and have long dreamed of living there.

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