Chester Smolski
Albert S. Potter


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This early Victorian, two-story, wood-frame octagonal home was built in 1867 by watchmaker Albert S. Potter. The house was inspired by the 1853 publication "Home for All" by Orson Fowler. The influential book recommended the octagon as the most economical and practical shape for a house, however, the book also recommended using poured concrete, which this house did not incorporate. The house is owned by the Carolina Preservation and Band Society and is listed as a landmark in the National Register of Historic Places for the Carolina Historic District.


Bibliography: Jordy, William H. "Buildings of Rhode Island" Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 480. McGowan, Louis. "Octagonal Houses of Rhode Island.", 2016 Accessed 11 Feb. 2016. "Rhode Island." Inventory of Older Octagon, Hexagon, and Round Houses, 2016, Accessed 12 Feb. 2016.


This object from the Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates are the intellectual property of Rhode Island College. This digital object is protected by copyright and/or related rights. The digital material presented here is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This content can be used, shared, or adapted for educational and scholarly purposes. For permissions to use this item please contact All uses must include appropriate attribution.

Creator 2 Role


Building Type

Single family dwelling

Building Style


Subject Headings

Octagonal houses -- Rhode Island -- Richmond; Dwellings -- Rhode Island -- Richmond; Architecture, Victorian -- Rhode Island -- Richmond

Country Name

United States

Region Name

Rhode Island

City Name


Street Address

4 Carolina Main St, RI-112


octagonal, architecture, Victorian, Richmond, South County