Richardsonian Romanesque structures are always constructed of masonry, often rough-faced squared stonework. Wide, rounded arches and deeply recessed door and window openings are also key features of the style. Rare in residential buildings, the style was was popular for public and institutional buildings between 1880 and 1900. Named for influential Boston architect H.H. Richardson, other architects emulated his designs after his death in 1886.
The style was adopted for several key Lowell public buildings of the early 1890s including City Hall (1893, 375 Merrimack Street), Memorial Hall/Pollard Memorial Library (1893, 401 Merrimack Street) and the former main Post Office (1893, 89 Appleton Street) in the downtown area.
Rare in residential buildings, the Frederick Faulkner House (1890/1903, 86 Belmont Avenue) in the Belvidere Hill Historic District was built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Constructed of rough faced granite blocks, the home occupies a commanding site at the crest of Belvidere Hill. Bands of arched and rectangular windows encircle the building and the engaged turrets with conical roofs. An arched stone porte-cochere projects from a similarly arched entrance supported by squat groups of polished granite columns.