Monday, December 14, 2009

Looming over Rockefeller Park


If you’re like me, it’s tough to stay inside the driving lanes while driving through Rockefeller Park since I am usually craning my neck trying to look at the homes in the historic district of East Blvd. in Cleveland, Ohio. There’s one in particular that continues to fascinate me, and that is 1269 East 99th Street.


The prominent feature of this Colonial Revival structure is the front entrance that is flanked by four towering Ionic columns. To me, it appears to be a structure that was built with much thought and effort put into it, and by someone would wanted to make an architectural statement.


It appears that none of the original windows have been bricked in, however there is an addition built off the back of the structure. There is a small entrance on both sides of the building. The side entrances were most likely very conducive for the apartments that the building ended up being sectioned off into, and I speculate that the addition on the rear was most likely added for this purpose as well. On the front of the house, there seems to be a section of wooden porch railings missing on the right side.



I found a postcard on the Cleveland Memory website of the intersection at East Blvd. and East 99th. I believe that the first house showing on the right hand side is the same structure. In the postcard, the columns and wooden porch railings (both lower and upper levels) are painted white and there are awnings over each window. The house does not have the same “domineering” quality that it does now. The postcard is marked 1915, and so far I have traced the house back to at least 1895, which means the house would have been at least 20 years old at the time the postcard was printed.


The next time you are driving through Rockefeller Park, don’t just crane your neck, take a slight detour up the hill and along East Blvd. until it takes you back down into the park just north of St. Clair. You won’t be disappointed, and better yet, you won’t cause any traffic jams!

6 comments:

  1. Wow, great article! Love the asset-based approach to enjoying this architecture. Sure, it's boarded up now, but it has a story to tell, a history longer than any of us, and it has a bit of a voice now, Keri. Thanks for sharing what you see and for seeing what you share!

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  2. I first laid eyes on this house last year(2009) and I fell in love!! It was for sale for $3400! I waited too late to inquire about it's availability and it was purchased by the Cleveland Land Bank. Just to see the columns, the huge windows, the beautiful brick, it's simply a glorious, architecturally detailed building!! I used to enjoy looking at it as I would go to work via Martin Luther King Drive. It was listed as a 4 unit apartment on the MLS. I hope it can be restored and not torn down. There are so many historically diverse homes and buildings in Cleveland! It's my dream to be able to properly describe and record the century homes in the 44106, 44108, and 44112 zip codes.

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  3. I'm reasonably sure that there are ways that the house could be obtained through the landmark before they get to the point of demolition. If you're still interested, shoot an email to clevelandareahistory@gmail.com.

    I'm also interested in talking with you about your project documenting the century homes in those zip codes.

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  4. I'd be more than happy to oblige! BTW: I hope to close on a house not too far from that apartment building. It's a 1911 Victorian side by side duplex in the Rockefeller Park historic district. Just doing my part to preserve one of many architectural beauties in this area.

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  5. it is truly my dream house and I'm going to make it happen if God say so.

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