1897 Exotic Revival – Fall River, MA

Added to OHD on 3/31/11   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   13 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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657 Highland Ave, Fall River, MA

  • $289,888
  • 7 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 4726 Sq Ft
  • 0.53 Ac.
Unique c.1910 Oriental character, this 3 story Pagoda roofed, Japanese style home known as "Rising Sun", is on the National Register of Historic Places. Ralph A. Cram (Boston Architect) design.Magnificient home authentically Japanese - 28 different imported woods were used in the woodwork and carvings, built- ins throughout. The home extends to an attached structure, "Tea Room". In ground pool, beautiful yard.
OHD Notes
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This was built for Rev. Arthur Knapp and was designed by Ralph Adams Cram, known as "Rising Sun". Thanks to Frederic for emailing me this house, along with a slew of research he did on it. You can read a bit about the history of the home in the book Ralph Adams Cram: Boston bohemia, 1881-1900. I would love to take this and restore it to the way it originally was (windows, the tea room, gardens especially.) On the build date, I've seen multiple dates from 1894 to 1910. It sounds like around 1897 was when it was actually built or completed, so I'm going with that. In the book "The Country House" by Charles Edward Hooper, it has multiple pictures of the interior: the front door, the stairs, living room, upper hallway, the sun parlor, a fireplace in the 2nd floor bedroom.

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13 Comments on 1897 Exotic Revival – Fall River, MA

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  1. Ryan says: 458 comments

    VERY cool! I’m about 99% sure I saw this house on some TV show, but I don’t think they showed the inside. It’s amazing, and I agree, it’d be nice to see it restored…not that I have anything against pink wall-to-wall carpet, mind you. I’m just saying…….

    And hey, Lizzie Borden would probably have been familiar with this house, right?

  2. Victoria says: 1 comments

    I would be more than a bit nervous about using the very cool but seemingly unvented freestanding 60’s-era fireplace in the living room!

    Fall River has an amazing stock of old houses, but the vinyl siding fairy visited in the 60’s so a lot of original exterior detail has been lost on many.

  3. Mary Wheeler says: 1 comments

    We are the lucky people who just purchased this home and we’re delighted! Thus far, we’ve replaced the roof with a blue slate color which seems appropriate. We’re now working to find the right exterior paint to replace the white and red. We had hoped to stripe the wood in the front and apply a stained varnish, but it doesn’t seem practical at this point. We’ll see how that goes.

    The pink carpet is still in place. My thought is to keep the rugs in place to protect the hardwoods underneath until the wall work in done. Then, thank heaven, it will be removed and we may need to have a glass of champagne to celebrate!

    The yard is in terrible shape, so work to remove dead trees and reshape overgrown shrubs will begin next week. Then we’ll take a look to decide on the next step. At the very least, my plan is to create a meditation garden at the back of the tea house (side yard) and a walking garden in the front (back yard).

  4. Christian La Salle says: 3 comments

    My dad bought this in1978 for 28k! Property taxes were so high then they were giving these highland homes away! He spent close to a million restoring it over 30 years. It served just as his law office until the 80’s. Yes, the decor may be outdated, but most of the wood was rotted, the hvac was non existant, the roof leaked, and the tea house was a pile of junk! That floor had to be raised, and all of those magnificant carvings saved. If not for his evil bitch second wife, I would have loved to have been the one to continue to love it. Sans the pink carpet(lol)

  5. Christian La Salle says: 3 comments

    Just to clarify. When my dad passed away, the “E-B” second wife and we children fought out the estate for over a year. She won the home and immediately sold it.

  6. Judi Baker says: 1 comments

    Ever since I was a little girl and saw this house,I fell in love with it. Thank you for posting photos of the inside. As an adult,I now live just up the street from this house and walk by it often,gazing at it and imagining all the amazing people and the memories they all must have. It would be nice to have a tour of the inside. What an amazingly BEAUTIFUL place.

  7. Joan Huck says: 1 comments

    at the end of the photos it says the bar is not original you could see some up dates with time as the Microwave and lap top on the desk. I am sure they had electric put in as well. It is absolutely beautiful.

  8. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12216 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I was checking out the street view and saw the new paint job and new roof. Love the new paint colors!

  9. Lindsay G says: 530 comments

    Oh wow! Easily my favorite on this whole site. I adore Asian culture, especially the Japanese. And if I owned this house, it would be my palace! I’m soooo jealous of the people who bought it. If I didn’t hate our winters here in the north-east, I’d be as happy as a clown living in such a masterpiece.

  10. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12216 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks to the owner, Mary, for sending in some pics! I kept the old ones, so you could see where it was and how it is now. Nice job Mary! Your home is gorgeous and one-of-a-kind! 🙂

  11. Meg says: 1 comments

    My mother’s childhood home!

  12. Christian LaSalle says: 3 comments

    Just to clarify: My dad named it “Rising Sun” in the early 1990’s as a tribute to the Japanese architecture. He had the name put on an engraved plaque that was attached to the stone wall in front, that he also had built. Funny story: When the former Bishop, now Cardinal, O’Malley took his daily walks from his residence up the street(wearing his humble Franciscan robe), he would purposely cross the street as to not pass directly in front of the house side of the street. I think the name Rising Sun reminded him of the infamous New Orleans Brothel of the same name.


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