Fairmount Boulevard Historic Districts

During this audio tour—slightly more than one hour but potentially shorter if you turn around at Coventry—you will walk one of the Cleveland area’s most iconic streets. Often referred to as the Millionaires’ Row of Cleveland’s eastern suburbs, Fairmount Boulevard—from its intersection with Cedar Road on the west to Wellington Road on the east—is an architectural treasure trove. The walk’s entire length is on the National Register of Historic Places.

So let’s go. Your starting point is 2485 Fairmount Boulevard, directly across the street from the driveway by Luna Bakery near where Fairmount and Cedar intersect. You should be on the north side of the street—across from Luna. You’ll be continuing east on that same side of the street. When we get near Wellington Road—or Coventry, if you want a shorter tour—you’ll cross the street and return down Fairmount’s south side.

We hope you enjoy this installment of Cleveland Walks.

2485 Fairmount Boulevard

Barton Deming launched the Euclid Golf development in 1913. He built this grand home the next year. In addition to functioning as his private residence, the house was also a great PR move: an impressive introduction to the neighborhood. This photo was taken in 1919.

 

2603 Fairmount Boulevard

The architect who designed this house also played a role in the creation of Stan Hywet, the majestic Seiberling house near Akron.

 

2675 Fairmount Boulevard

This home was originally owned by the gentleman whose company ultimately became Howard Hanna Real Estate Services—now the fourth largest real estate company in the United States.

2747 Fairmount Boulevard (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church)

The Saint Paul’s congregation is far older than the beautiful 1928 structure you see before you. A small brick church in the Gothic Revival style was built in 1858 at Euclid Avenue and what is now East 4th Street. The congregation’s next building was erected in 1876 at East 40th Street and Euclid Avenue—on Millionaires’ Row at the same intersection where John D. Rockefeller lived with his family.

2757 Fairmount Boulevard (Fairmount Presbyterian Church)

Although it is in excellent shape, Fairmount Presbyterian Church looks a great deal older than it really is. In the early decades of the 20th Century, various small houses of worship stood on these grounds, but  this magnificent Tudor-style structure was not completed until 1941. It is a stunning introduction to the Shaker Farms Historic District, which comprises more than a half-dozen streets to the east (including Fairmount Boulevard through to Wellington Road).

2787 Fairmount Boulevard

This is one of the few French Normandy-style homes on Fairmount Boulevard. The style originally was conceived as a romanticized version of a traditional French farmhouse, which is quite amazing given the grandeur of this particular structure.

2905 Fairmount Boulevard

The symmetry of this home—a key feature of Georgian architecture—is remarkable. Only when you reach the perimeters of the house do external variations appear.

 

2959 Fairmount Boulevard

There are numerous unusual characteristics to this 27-room home, including its stucco finish (generally inadvisable in cold climates) and the fact that it has a surprisingly little space in the rear yard.

 

3001 Fairmount Boulevard

This amazing Beaux-Arts home sold for $350,000 (including furnishings)—in 1917!!! Known as the Tremaine-Gallagher house, it may be the only structure associated in three different contexts with the National Register of Historic Places. First, the house itself has been on the Register for several decades. Second, Fairmount Boulevard from Cedar Hill to Wellington Road is on the National Register. Third, the home is part of the Shaker Farms Historic District, which was placed on the National Resister several years ago.

 

3029 Fairmount Boulevard

Architecturally speaking, there’s a lot going on with this house, including a two-story bay, leaded glass windows and unusual half-timber designs. There also was a lot going on when the original owner lived there.

 

3085 Fairmount Boulevard

This incredible Tudor Revival home has quite a pedigree: architected by Walker & Weeks, with formal gardens by the Olmsted brothers, the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York.

 

3097 Fairmount Boulevard

This Georgian/Federal-style house also was designed by Walker & Weeks, with gardens by the Olmsted brothers. But it sure looks like W&W forgot to include a front door!

2952 Fairmount Boulevard

Big ol’ family house with nine bedrooms and strong French and Italian influences. Plus a yard that must be every kid’s play-area fantasy.

 

2900 Fairmount Boulevard

If Bilbo Baggins were six feet tall, he would feel right at home in this humungous “cottage.” Carefully restored by its current owners, the 9,000-square-foot home was designed (ironically) by architect Phillip “Small.”  It is the only Fairmount Boulevard home designed by Small, who architected many grand homes in Shaker Heights.

 

2876 Fairmount Boulevard

You don’t have to be a Nut to live here. But there would be a certain consistency if you were!

 

2806 Fairmount Boulevard

Another house (this time Colonial Revival) with the aura of an outsized but warm family home. The structure once was part of a photo essay by Margaret Bourke-White.

2740 Fairmount Boulevard

The house was built for Stephen Balkwill,  president of the Cleveland Frog and Crossing Company. Who knew that frogs needed their own crossings?

 

2720 Fairmount Boulevard

This Tudor Revival home makes a dramatic statement in two directions: facing Fairmount Boulevard or St. James Parkway. It was built for Hoyt Landon Warner, a partner in W. H. Warner Co., a coal company. Given how pristine the entire area is, it is somewhat ironic that numerous Fairmount Boulevard homes were built for executives of coal companies. The air would not have been nearly so clean in 1924, when the home was built!

 

2540 Fairmount Boulevard

The first owner of this magnificent corner home was Alwin C. Ernst, founder the public accounting firm that ultimately became Ernst & Young.

 

2514 Fairmount Boulevard

A highlight piece from architects Howell & Thomas, this beautiful home is all Georgian on the outside and largely Art Deco on the inside.

 

2504 Fairmount Boulevard

The last stop on this tour puts us in front of a home designed by one of Cleveland’s most iconic architects: Charles Schweinfurth. Although he had only one other Cleveland Heights commission (the Briggs estate on East Overlook Road), Schweinfurth designed at least 15 Millionaires’ Row mansions (think Chisholm, Mather, Everett, Devereaux), all of which have been lost to history.