Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 8, 1976):
From 1878 until his death, Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich (1841-1915), lived in this elegant Federal frame mansion on Coillege Hill. Few men have exercised as much power from his U.S. Senate seat as Aldrich did from 1881 to 1911. As Republican Senate "boss", he maintained virtual veto power over any legislation, pressing his view that business and government should combine to lead the country, but that business should play the leading role. The Aldrich house currently serves as the Rhode Island Museum and home of the Rhode Island Historical Society.