This 1896 home was designed by architect
Alfred Hoyt Granger for John Hartness Brown, a wealthy real estate developer
who lost control of the house in 1908, but continued to live there. Brown
is credited with the conception of University Circle and an early planner
for the development of Cleveland Heights. In 1910, he was an important
witness and possibly a suspect in the inquest following the unsolved murder
of William Rice. In 1914, he left Cleveland Heights “under a cloud”
and moved to London, England.
John Hartness Brown House under construction,
The exterior of this “Tudor Eclectic”
style home features a broken-course sandstone with rose colored mortar,
ground floor buttresses, Tudor style doorways and windows, and a second-story
bay window of copper, decorated with shields. Gothic detailing is found
on many of the doorways in the form of geometric tracery.
The airy and light-filled interior of the house is in surprising contrast
to the somber, rather forbidding exterior. The woodwork is particularly
fine and is noted for its depth of color, degree of finish, variety of
species and fine state of preservation. Many of the ceilings are beamed
and some are carved with trefoils and tracery. All hardware in the house
is of a whimsical Gothic nature. Special features of the home include
two pantries and a large “cooler room”, a conservatory, original
tapestry wall covering in the dining room and elegant mahogany staircase.