Historic Structures

Park Building, Cleveland Ohio

The Park Building is a large, prominently sited and highly intact example of the style and form of commercial buildings that were being erected in the larger cities of the United States in the years shortly following the turn of the century. The building utilizes steel frame construction and features a symmetrical exterior clad in brick with cast stone trim. Stylistically, the building has elements of Neoclassical and Tudor Revival forms that relate to Chicago skyscrapers of an earlier decade. Its restrained exterior is a sharp departure from the buildings of downtown Cleveland erected around this same time and reflects the desire of the building's developers to achieve a highly functional building that provided a large amount of light and display window area. Its design by Cleveland architect Frank S. Barnum is sophisticated, yet largely devoid of historical imagery that helped to shape the exteriors of his other commercial buildings, such as the Caxton Building, built just one year earlier, which features a massive cornice and robust yet intricate entrance portal. It is the tallest and most prominent commercial building designed by this important Cleveland architect. Frank Seymour Barnum (1851-1927) was a prominent Cleveland architect who began his career as a draftsman for Cleveland architect Joseph Ireland, designer of some of the finest late nineteenth-century residences along Euclid Avenue's famed Millionaires' Row. While in the office he met Forrest A. Coburn and the two went into practice together under the name Coburn & Barnum in 1878. During their twenty-year practice together, ending with Coburn's death in 1897, the firm planned some of the city's most distinguished buildings, including the Furniture Block and the Blackstone Block, the latter an example of fire-resistant mill construction that featured a four-story interior light court. The firm designed numerous churches, including Euclid Avenue Congregational, and residences for George Howe, William J. Morgan, and the Washington Lawrence House in Bay Village, since transformed into condominiums. They also designed the Olney Art Gallery on West 14th Street and the former home of the Western Reserve Historical Society. During its final year, the firm became known as Coburn, Barnum, Hubbell & Benes, in recognition of two talented younger members of the firm who, after Coburn's death went on to form their own highly successful practice which included the design of the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Chesapeake Beach Railroad Engine House, Seat Pleasant Maryland

Otto Mears (developer of Colorado's Rio Grande Southern Railroad, among others), the Russian-born Colorado-based entrepreneur known as the "pathfinder of the San Juan" was the principal promoter of the Chesapeake Beach Railway. Mears had planned that his direct link to Chesapeake Bay would be a high speed line, 28 miles long, run by electric power from a third rail system. Notably, once the engine house was completed and steam locomotives were fully 1n service, Mears resigned as General Manager of the Chesapeake Beach Railway. David Moffat, the richest man in Colorado by 1900 (President, Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and president, Denver National Bank), was the major sponsor before 1902, when the engine house was completed. The work accomplished during the tenure of these men essentially remained intact for the whole course of the history of the railroad. Beginning when Washington had developed into an urban area and government employees were an identifiable holiday market for the railroad, the Chesapeake Beach Railway was planned as a passenger rail line to the Bay resort which Mears hoped would rival the renowned New England casino resorts. While occasional freight to and from the local agricultural area was carried at night, the passenger business to and from Chesapeake Beach was the focus of the railroad. The company ceased operation In 1935, the victim of a major economic depression. By 1903, the yard located in rural Maryland near the District limits, in an area called Seat Pleasant after 1906, was occupied by the engine house, a turntable, sidings and storage tracks, a paint shop, and a water tank. Other secondary structures were added between 1903 and in 1936.


Eleventh District School, Covington Kentucky

The former 11th District School building is one of the chief landmarks of the small (population about 2,000) community of West Covington, an area annexed by the city of Covington in 1916. Set near the top of a ridge surrounded by the hills of Northern Kentucky to the south and by the Ohio River Valley to the north, the building, a restrained Tudor Revival design typical of the post-World War I era, is highly visible from many directions. It was built in 1920-22 to extend the benefits of the traditionally excellent Covington public school system to the newly annexed community, which is geographically somewhat separate from the 19th-century city, located around a bend of the hills in the adjacent Licking River Valley. The 11th District School was designed by the prolific and highly competent Columbus, Ohio, architectural firm of Richards, McCarty & Bulford, who also were responsible for the design of many important buildings in central Kentucky. A compatible 1931 addition was designed by northern Kentucky architect Chester H. Disque. In the vicinity of several other community institutions, the school building remains a visual landmark, although it was reluctantly, closed because of Federal student~busing requirements in 1979. A group of local investors is currently (1983) considering renovation and adaptive re-use of the structure for apartments, utilizing the Tax Incentives available under the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. West Covington was originally known as "Economy." It was established about 1846 on the estate of Israel Ludlow, a prominent early Cincinnati and northern Kentucky land-owner and developer. The town was incorporated in 1858 as West Covington. The population grew from 554 in 1860 to 993 in 1870 according to Collins. As early as the mid-1870s there was a movement to annex it to the city of Covington, whose population continued to expand after the Civil War. Annexation was not accomplished, however, until 1916, during a period when a number of adjacent areas to the south and west of the 19th-century city were also annexed.