3029 Fairmount Boulevard (1981)


When finished in 1914 for Walter Robison, this house stood almost alone in the wooded expanse of the Shaker Heights Improvement Company's East Fairmount development. The development stretched along Fairmount from Coventry to Lee Road and reached north to Fairfax Road. Frank B. Meade and James Hamilton designed not only this Tudor-style residence, but eventually all the neighboring houses on the north side of Fairmount between Guilford and Stratford Roads. A. D. Taylor was the Robisons' landscape architect.


When the Robisons moved in, Fairmount Boulevard was just a dirt road. Dorothy Robison Daley, who grew up in the house, recalls that Clevelanders at first considered the location to be "far out in the country." When her grandmother came to visit, she would use her electric car or a horse-drawn carriage for the day-long outing. The trolley of the Cleveland Electric Railway came up Cedar Hill and then branched out Fairmount as far as Lee Road, so she was able to ride the trolley down to the old Hathaway Brown School near Euclid Avenue and 97th Street. She recalls that the move of Hathaway Brown in 1927 to its present campus coincided with the filling up of Fairmount with new houses and seemed to confirm the final eclipse of Euclid Avenue and the ascendancy of the suburbs as the place for fashionable living.


Besides the customary retinue of live-in servants, Mr. Robison, president of the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Co., employed a live-in policeman to discourage the carrying out of various threats on his life received during the periodic coal miners' strikes.


Mrs. Daley remembers visits to her parents' house by the Van Sweringen brothers, O. P. and M. J. They worked on the Fairmount development and later used the same trolley-centered formula to achieve fame as the developers of Shaker Heights.