Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Have you ever noticed this building on Euclid Avenue, standing next to a massive old industrial building, and wondered what it was doing there? The building is the Dunham Tavern museum. Located at 6709 Euclid Avenue, the Tavern is the oldest building still standing on its original site in the city of Cleveland. The oldest part of the tavern, seen here to the right and rear, was built in 1824 to serve travelers, at a time when Euclid Avenue was the major east-west thouroughfare. The main part of the building was built in 1842.
Entry to the museum is through a door on the side which opens into the oldest part of the building. This space contains a large kitchen with living quarters on the second floor.
Guests would have entered through the front hall. Note the wood paneling lining the hallway and stairs.
The tavern itself is furnished with antiques that are generally of the period, and usually of the style that would have been present originally. Very few of the actual original furnishings remain.
The dining room is located between the tavern and the front hall.
The parlor, on the opposite side of the front hallway, provided a space for guests to sit and relax.
The second floor includes several bedrooms, all furnished with period antiques.
The library is also located on the second floor. The cabinets are said to be from a ship, and to have been built in the 1760s.
Many interesting artifacts are displayed on the second floor as well. One is this framed fragment of the original wallpaper.
Another is this dresser, built circa 1825-1840, which is one of the few antiques that is original to the house.
The museum is surrounded by impressive grounds, which include gardens and a barn. I will share photos of the gardens come spring.
I have posted many more photos of the interior of the house on Flickr. The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) has extensive drawings detailing the house as well as the stables, which are no longer present. One may note that the HABS photograph shows a porch that is no longer present. The porch was a later addition which has since been removed.
It's amazing that the Dunham Tavern was able to survive as long as it did at this location, in the heart of the city. It is made even more impressive by the massive brick and concrete structure next door to it. I hope that that structure remains, because it provides some context as to just what this museum has survived through.
At $3, the Dunham Tavern Museum is an excellent deal. It is open Wednesdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm.