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Fall House Hunt Listing: A Japanese-inspired landmark in Fall River for $1.2m

Buying Fall House Hunt
657-Highland-Ave-Fall-River-Exterior
This Fall River home has six bedrooms, 2.5-baths, and a Japanese-inspired design. Laura Vaillancourt of Iciofamerica

It may be in the heart of Fall River’s Highlands Historic District, but this stunning home is straight out of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Aptly named “The Rising Sun,” the six-bed, 2.5-bath home has a design inspired by a Japanese pagoda, a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and a price tag of $1,200,000.

The property at 657 Highland Ave. is one of just a handful of homes designed by prolific architect Ralph Adams Cram, who appeared on the cover of Time in recognition of his work. He designed several notable area buildings, ranging from the Fall River Public Library to Emmanuel Church in Newport, R.I., as well as many outside New England. Construction on the home, which Cram designed for the Rev. Arthur May Knapp, a Unitarian missionary, began in 1894 and was completed around 1915. Set on 0.53 of an acre, the 4,577-square-foot home is a private residence, but it has been used as a law office.

Boasting the original solid walnut doors, the Japanese Arts-and-Crafts house features 26 species of wood using the Japanese wood joinery method known as kanawa tsugi. Not a single nail was used in its construction, and all ceilings are of different heights “to confuse the spirits,” according to David Durot of Century 21 Topsail Realty in Newport, R.I., who has the listing.

Each of the home’s doorways is also slightly different, and four of the rooms on the first floor feature authentic carvings by Japanese workers that have been signed and integrated into the walls. The living room and family room flank the entryway, and there’s a modern kitchen with space for a breakfast nook. There’s also a formal dining room, four working fireplaces, and an additional back staircase for easy access to the upper levels. The intricately carved main stairway is illuminated by a 25-by-20-foot skylight, but the home’s most unique feature is the first-floor tea room with a bar area.

On the second floor, you’ll find a home office, as well as four bedrooms. The third story, which was originally servants’ quarters, features three bedrooms, one of which is being used as a home office. There’s also a third-floor patio off one of the rooms, which provides seasonal views of the Taunton River.

While the front yard is the largest green space, there’s also a beautiful fenced-in backyard with mature trees. A spacious back patio leads to a swimming pool, and there’s a driveway that can accommodate six to 10 vehicles.

See more photos of the home below:

Take the video tour.

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