Saturday, June 29, 2013

Forest Hill, Cleveland Heights, OH (April-May 2013)

We briefly considered buying a house in the historic area of Forest Hill in Cleveland Heights/East Cleveland, with its "Rockefeller homes." The "Rockefeller homes" were placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Forest Hill Historic District in 1986 and the Heights Rockefeller Building was listed on the national register that same year.
John D Rockefeller, Jr. initiated a planned community on the property he bought from his father, John Davison Rockefeller, the Standard Oil magnate. The original "Homestead", the Rockefellers' summer mansion, burned down in 1917. Parts of the land were donated for hospitals, schools and parks. In the 1920s, Rockefeller Jr. engaged New York architect Andrew J. Thomas (1875-1965) to plan an upscale residential and commercial development. For visual continuity, Thomas designed all of the homes in French Norman style featuring steeply pitched slate or terracotta tile roofs, copper gutters and downspouts, wavy-edged red cedar siding, Ohio sandstone, and brick kilned in a color pallet specially created for the development.
At the corner of Mayfield Road and Lee Boulevard stands the Heights Rockefeller Building:
Built in 1930 as the gateway to the Forest Hill development, it houses shops, eateries, offices and apartments.
Formally opened on May 2, 1931, it is significant as a fine example of French Norman architecture.
On the next corner of Lee and Monticello Boulevards is the "Blue Cottage:"
It was built in 1930 as the sales office for Abeyton Realty, Rockefeller's company for selling the "Rockefeller homes." It was originally located at Lee and Brewster Road, but was moved here in 1937 to be closer to where the homes were being built.
In 1957 it became home to the Forest Hill Home Owners. It was designated a Cleveland Heights Landmark in 2005, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
Sandstone block sidewalks:
Although the historic district of Forest Hill encompasses the entire area, I am focusing on the "Rockefeller homes."
A total of 81 "Rockefeller homes" were built by Andrew Thomas. There were nine variations in design and most were constructed in mirror image pairs. A driveway led to the basement level garage in the rear of the house. The first floor had a living room, dining room and kitchen, with some having an additional sun room or library. The second floor had three or four bedrooms with two or three full bathrooms. The  modern features of the time were steel casement windows, a recirculating heating system, and a grounded radio antenna.
Because the development was not a commercial success (in the era of the Great Depression), building did not continue on the original plan that envisioned 600 homes.
Let's start on Brewster Road with No. 16385, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16361 Brewster Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16337 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16313 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16293 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16287 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1931:
One of the front door lighting options:
The next few houses are located in East Cleveland.
16273 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16249 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
Driveway gates:
16225 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
A steel casement window:
16224 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16200 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16201 Brewster Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
16165 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16141 Brewster Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
16117 Brewster Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
16089 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16057 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
A single shutter:
16033 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16009 Brewster Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
15981 Brewster Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
Originally all the front yards were lined with privet hedges:
15957 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15933 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15903 Brewster Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15873 Brewster Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15724 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15700 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15717 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15681 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15664 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15640 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15657 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15633 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15608 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15609 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15565 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
Side door light and gateway lion:
15548 Brewster Road, a 5/4 and 2 1/2 baths built in 1930:
15541 Brewster Road, a 4/2 and 2 1/2 baths built in 1929:
Baubles:
15517 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15489 Brewster Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1929:
15457 Brewster Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1929:
15433 Brewster Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
15409 Brewster Road, a 4/3 and 2 1/2 baths built in 1929:
15381 Brewster Road, a 3/2-1/2 built in 1929:
A view down the tree-lined street of Brewster:
On Mount Vernon at Brewster, No. 2024, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
We can't see very much of this house!
2025 Mount Vernon, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
Same with this one on Lee Boulevard at Brewster, No. 2025, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1929:
Now to walk along Newbury Drive to Wyatt Road.
Aww, a dead mouse:
But first 2073 Newbury Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
15559 Wyatt Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15625 Wyatt Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
15657 Wyatt Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
15681 Wyatt Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15717 Wyatt Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15749 Wyatt Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1930:
On Mount Vernon at Wyatt Road, No. 2223, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
2233 Mount Vernon, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
Now to Cleviden Road.
16101 Cleviden Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16131 Cleviden Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
Adjoining driveways:
16143 Cleviden Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16157 Cleviden Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16173 Cleviden Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
A front door light option:
16185 Cleviden Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16201 Cleviden Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16217 Cleviden Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1930:
This is one of the houses for sale. In the end, it needed too much updating and is not conveniently located.
Here is the back yard:
Gate post and catch:
16233 Cleviden Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1930:
All the houses have sliding garage doors that don't lend themselves to being automated:
Local code won't let you change the garage doors. A few corner houses have the garages at ground level like this one above.
Around the corner on Northvale Boulevard, No. 16461, a 5/3 and 2 1/2 baths built in 1928:
We are back in Cleveland Heights.
16491 Northvale Boulevard, a 5/3 and 2 1/2 baths built in 1928:
Next is Glynn Road.
16400 Glynn Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16376 Glynn Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16352 Glynn Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1931:
16328 Glynn Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16300 Glynn Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
16290 Glynn Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
16284 Glynn Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1929:
Finally over to Henley Road which is in East Cleveland.
15970 Henley Road, a 5/3-1/2 built in 1930:
15998 Henley Road, a 4/2-1/2 built in 1930:
16010 Henley Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16026 Henley Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
Nice lawn decoration!
16038 Henley Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16050 Henley Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16058 Henley Road, a 4/3-1/2 built in 1930:
16070 Henley Road, a 3/2-1/2 built in 1930:
Voila! I think I have recorded all of the 81 "Rockefeller homes!"

Check out the Forest Hills Home Owners website at https://fhho.squarespace.com.

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