Thu, 11/30/2017 - 8:45pm

A remarkable man

To the Editor:

Norris Pike was a remarkable Design-Builder.

It’s hard to ‘notice’ a Norris Pike design on the island… you really have to look hard as his houses have that ‘timeless vernacular’ character that makes it difficult to separate them from our Island’s historic resources. Whether it’s a tiny cottage overlooking a pond, or a significant residence on a hill, his houses have that ‘personal scale’ that is sorely missing in today’s residential construction. Ever since first visiting the island in 1989, I have admired his work; he was one of the first builders to take me on a tour of the Island to introduce me to the significant collection of his work.

I was honored to have worked with Norris in 2008 on a garage/barn for Edie Blane. With his adding a few Island details to the simple structure, it’s hard to determine if it was built in 2008, or 1908. And it gets better with age.

Just nine months ago, I discovered that one such house that I had admired for years was a design/build spec house that Norris constructed in 1984. I told him that if my wife and I permanently move to New England and decide to build a home from scratch, that house’s character is what I had in mind. His reply: “Doug, find the lot, and we’ll build it together!”. 

I’ll miss Norris. 

W. Douglas Gilpin, Jr. FAIA


Block Island and Charlottesville, Virginia


Spirit of generosity

To the Editor: 

A total of $1,864 was raised in two hours at this year’s oyster benefit for six Block Island non-profits. That’s a lot of oysters!

We would not have raised this amount without the generosity of so many people who donated in excess of our suggested donation amount. We more or less ran out of decent-sized oysters, and I apologize for that. We will do better next year. Good job and thank you to everyone who participated. See you next year.

Bon appetite!                                                                                                               

Christopher Warfel

Sun Farm Oysters, LLC