2648 Berkshire Road (1982)


Sitting in stately repose amid tall shade trees, this thirty-seven room mansion was designed and built in 1898 by the Cleveland architectural firm of Meade and Granger, predecessor of the well-known firm of Meade and Hamilton. The house demonstrates in plan and style the gracious, servant-supported, sociable way of life afforded the family of a turn-of-the-century tycoon. Mr. Robert H. York, the original owner, was the son of a founder of the Otis Elevator Company and, himself, a partner of John D. Rockefeller. That Mr. York also pursued his leisure with a singular energy is attested to by his membership in two New York City clubs, three Cleveland country clubs, the Union Club, and his founding the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. This house and its fifteen room carriage house were built for Mr. York's wife, Clara Gordon York, who lived there until the 1950s.


The exterior strongly suggests a Newport Victorian "cottage" and features two large gables and a magnificent open porch. The interior rooms contain exceptionally fine mill-work, large fireplaces, dramatic leaded glass windows and beamed ceilings. A gracious front hall draws visitors into the spacious downstairs rooms and a broad staircase leads to the second floor. The third floor was originally servants' quarters, entered from a back staircase. Here the current owners have created a family room.


Many Victorian accoutrements, including the plumbing fixtures, remain as testament to the fine workmanship of the period and the current owners' reverence for the integrity of the style.