Acquired by Brown in the 1920s, Sharpe House was built in 1872 for Lucien Sharpe (1830-1899) who, at Brown & Sharpe, led the development of what became the standard American Wire Gauge (AWG). The 13,400 gross square foot double house was designed by prominent local architect Alpheus Morse. Clad in wood clapboard with a mansard roof and dormers, the impressive building is in need of interior renewal, with the last significant building investments made over 15 years ago. Sharpe House is one location of History Department, one of the university’s oldest academic units.
Though driven by the need to prepare a site for the new Performing Arts Center (PAC), there are several additional university goals integral to the conception of this project. These include updated facilities for the history department and improved linkages with history department space at Peter Green House. By moving the house to Brown Street, the project also reinforces Brown’s approach in creating a gentle transition between the campus and the surrounding neighborhood fabric. This move is in alignment with Brown’s strategic plan: Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown (2013).