So this is a kind of random post, and it has nothing to do with food. But I had such a cool experience this afternoon I just had to share. Jacob and I live in one of the best neighborhoods in Cleveland to take a walk – in Cleveland Heights near the Cedar-Fairmount intersection. On pleasant evenings like we had tonight one of my favorite things to do is walk around and look at the incredible homes nearby. Not one looks the same, and if we wander down Fairmount or over to Ambler Heights the mansions are truly incredible (Tudor mansions, one of a kind stone work, hundred-year old original carvings, etc). Now I’m not a big history buff, and I don’t necessarily know what I’m looking at, but I do love to look and simply appreciate the craftmanship of it all.
Well, while out on a walk this evening we noticed that one of our favorite houses is up for sale by owner. The owner happened to be in the yard doing some yardwork and we struck up a little conversation with the owner. After talking for a couple of minutes he generously offered to give us a tour of the home. Now I thought this was pretty cool, but I didn’t even know what I was in for. This house was obviously old and grande and historic, but what we saw and heard during the tour was a little piece of Cleveland history! The house was built in 1911 by Kermode Gill, whose family owned the construction company that built Hanna building, the Allen Theatre in Playhouse Square, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Terminal Tower. It was designed by Frank Meade, who has been referred to as “Cleveland’s dean of architects”. And it was so well preserved and in its original state of grandeur, with original workwork, marble, moldings, furnishings, and accoutrements, that it was just sort of nuts. At 8,000 square feet and 8 bedrooms, 8 baths, and 8 fireplaces it was a lot to take in.
Part of what was so neat were all of the original appliances in the home – radio, stove, and telephone among them. The owner told us how the house was recently featured here: http://www.ohioauthority.com/articles/home-and-style/living-history . If you scroll down to the end of the article there are links to both original pictures of the house, and probably 40 pictures showing many of the impressive details.
The current owner is only the second family to inhabit the house, which is certainly one of the reasons it’s so well preserved. He even has the original plans from Frank Meade. The house is literally a museum of Cleveland’s history, and he plans to leave much of that history to the next owner. While it won’t be us, some lucky family will have an incredibly unique home that once belonged to Cleveland’s elite.