A Magical Space

A truly unique College Hill home inspires enchanting thoughts


“It’s a very special house,” says Sally Strachan of her College Hill Lightning Splitter, which has a roof that covers two of the four stories. “The idea was that if lightning struck the house, the pitch of the roof would split the lightning in half.” An organizational consultant, Strachan works with state organizations, startups, and nonprofits. She’s currently chairing the State House Restoration Society, “focused on the interior of this magnificently beautiful building,” she says.

Strachan moved from Manhattan 15 years ago, choosing Providence because, “I wanted a city and a garden,” she says. She also wanted a space that she could use to benefit the things she really cares about by hosting fundraisers. The 1846 Victorian has windows and doors on every wall, except for the one pictured here, which houses a custom bookcase. “The books are my heart,” she says. “I love reading, and no book goes on my bookcase if it hasn’t been read.” Other things of note in the room: the christening gown that’s been in her family for over 200 years, and the family heirloom china cabinet filled with antique English and American cut glass. There’s also a private garden in the back, like she’d been dreaming of before she moved here. “It’s a magical house.”