Greater Cleveland has its share of older homes that generally followed the trends of the rest of the nation in terms of architectural style.
Millionaires’ Row – Euclid Avenue, Cleveland Historical
Take Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, for example, which was dubbed Millionaires’ Row when it became an elegant showcase for its wealthy residents and their string of grand mansions from the 1860s to the 1920s. Among the housing styles that were prevalent were Greek Revival, High Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne, Richardsonian, Romanesque, and various eclectic styles.
The grandeur of Millionaires’ Row diminished starting in the 1930s, and the huge mansions were subsequently converted or fell into decline. Today, only eight houses remain from that era. These include the Mather Mansion, which has 45 rooms and a third-floor ballroom with a 16-foot ceiling that can easily hold 300 guests. Built with handcrafted stone, brick and woodwork, the Mather Mansion was at the time the largest house on the street and also the most expensive home in Cleveland.
Also among the surviving houses on Millionaires’ Row is the Howe Mansion, which had magnificent marble floors in each of the main rooms. The mansion then housed several art galleries from 1935 to 1982, when it was bought by Cleveland State University. It was restored and renamed the Parker-Hannifin Hall in 2005, and now serves as the home of the University’s College of Graduate Studies and the Office of Research.
Western Reserve Homes
Euclid Avenue is also home to Cleveland’s oldest building, the Dunham Tavern, which was built in 1824. The Dunham Tavern is an excellent example of Western Reserve architecture, a generalized term for the stylistic amalgam of architectural styles that include Classical, Federal, Georgian, Victorian, and Farmhouse Colonial elements.
Western Reserve homes are simple and utilitarian, with clean lines and generally limited to one or two stories. They typically consist of a rectilinear space topped by a single gabled roof and punctuated by a stone hearth or chimney. There are still quite a few of these throughout Greater Cleveland.
Diverse Architectural Styles
Other historic homes with diverse architectural styles such as Classical, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, French, Italianate, Stick, Tudor, and Victorian can be found in neighborhoods like Brooklyn Pointe, East and West Boulevards, Ohio City, Shaker Heights, and Tremont.
Ohio City is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cleveland, and contains the historic West Side Market located at the intersection of Lorain Avenue and West 25th Street. This European-style market built in 1912 is the anchor of this historic district, and draws an estimated one million visitors each year.
Shaker Heights is a scenic residential suburb and planned development that was based on the Garden City movement, and features block after block of architecturally unique and distinguished English, French, and Colonial Revival homes. Tremont is another historic neighborhood that’s centered around Cleveland’s Lincoln Park, with numerous historic churches and restored Victorian homes.
Housing demand during the 1910s to the 1930s saw the development of the Cleveland Doubles. This is essentially a two-family home that’s similar to a duplex, consisting of a front-gabled structure with identical living units on the first and second floor, as well as a smaller third floor apartment. Each unit has a living room and large porch facing the street. Doubles were often built along streetcar lines, and cities like Cleveland Heights contain doubles in most neighborhoods, which provided much-needed housing for the city’s rapid growth.
During the 1950s to the early 1960’s, the California ranch-style home started to become popular in the suburbs of the Cleveland area. These asymmetrical and mostly rectangular single-story homes with the long, low rooflines are found in communities like Pepper Pike, Beachwood, Solon and Moreland Hills.