2845 East Overlook Road (1984, 1986)


The façade of this 1919 home boasts what may well be the first two picture windows in Cleveland Heights, enabling those inside to look out upon the lush, verdant East Overlook landscape without obstruction. The clear windows may be of Central European influence, but the overall feeling of the house exterior is Georgian, the decoration relying on subtle tapestry brick and brick effects around windows, predating the creative brickwork seen throughout the Heights on homes of the 1935-42 period. Built for the family of Maurice E. Messer, President of the Universal Dry Cleaning Co. (now Universal-Fuller Co.), there is definitely a no-nonsense air to the house — one of solid, steadfast dignity.


The dining room porch was originally more open. In the living room, the small but elegant dark silvery blue tile fireplace is noteworthy. This replaced a huge, deteriorating fireplace of similar materials which was flanked by leaded glass cabinets. A multi-windowed room, referred to as a "solarium" on original plans, looks out on the large backyard, as well as on the neighboring house (Heights Heritage Tour '79), which is set into its own sloping grounds.


The most notable highlights of the house were created during extensive remodeling, completed in 1983: a roomy, bright kitchen and spacious creatively shaped deck across the entire back of the house. The kitchen, formed from several small, impractical spaces — a corridor kitchen, a butler's pantry, a hallway — was designed so that several cooks could work simultaneously. The deck, visually an extension of the kitchen, is of redwood and pressure-treated yellow pine. Ronald Sarstedt, widely known for his renovative efforts, was consulting architect, and R. E. Mauer was the contractor.