House of the Week: 87 High St., Bristol


The southern end of High Street, in downtown Bristol, is wide, picturesque, and with the occasional exception, quiet. And this historic cottage at 87 High perfectly situated to enjoy the best of this exceptional stretch of town.

Built in 1855 by grocer Alfred Lewis and his wife, Martha, the home originally had no front porch — that was an early-20th-century improvement. Otherwise, it still boasts many carefully preserved and restored original 19th-century architectural details. Features that set this home apart include front staircase risers painted with maritime scenes (including the Mt. Hope bridge) by stencil artist Hope Angier, handcrafted cherry cabinetry, and a gas-burning fireplace in the kitchen.

With two bedrooms and two bathrooms in just over 1,100 square feet of living space, the cottage is cozy and manageable for a couple, but large enough for a small family. Modern upgrades include a light-filled chef’s kitchen with a cathedral ceiling and skylights, high-end appliances, and an energy-efficient natural gas heating system.

The location is unsurpassed, one block from Bristol’s stunning waterfront, with easy beach access for swimming and boating. And yes, it’s “on the route” — Bristol’s renowned Fourth of July parade, the oldest in the nation, passes by every year. The shops and restaurants of downtown Bristol are a short walk away, as is the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. In fact, a stair-riser mural featuring America, the yacht for which the Cup is named, is one of the first sights that greets you when you walk through the door. As people once said in a phrase coined in that Bristol across the Atlantic and appropriated in ours, 87 High St. is “ship-shape and Bristol fashion.”

Just the facts

  • $470,000
  • 2 beds
  • 2 baths
  • 1.100 sq. ft.
  • Century 21 Rondeau
  • Ryan Fonseca


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