2285 Harcourt (1983)


This home was constructed in 1980 on part of an original estate with a legacy of structures, terraces, gardens and fabrique. Designed by Cleveland architect Fred Holman, the house embodies contemporary planning concepts in formal cloak which sensitively defers to its context. The white clapboard siding, muntined windows, roof pitches and general massing create a traditional image which does not belie the well-conceived spatial experience within.


The family/breakfast room, kitchen, and solarium are combined in an open-plan arrangement with a strong visual and physical relationship to the site and its features. The functional kitchen is beautifully crafted and enjoys direct natural light from the solarium. A large island with a cabinet above deftly screens and defines the family room. The screened porch is convenient to this area and the terrace.


The formal areas - reception, living, dining, and library -are developed as discrete rooms, well-proportioned and oriented to the more private areas of the site. The living room features a high studio ceiling and spatially unifies the house as it communicates with the second floor circulation gallery. The upper floor includes two finished children's bedrooms with ample unfinished space for future expansion. Local white ash floors, cherry millwork, and sand-mold brick of the fireplace add warmth and detail to the interiors. One-floor living, energy efficiency, and low maintenance free the owners to pursue their interests.


The house occupies the site of the original Bourne residence which was constructed in 1905 and later destroyed by fire. The surviving foundation was converted to a swimming pool surrounded by a terrace related to formal gardens to the north. Many of the site's landscape specimens and artifacts have been incorporated in the present house. Wrought-iron gates located originally at the threshold of an arbor leading to the coach house were restored and relocated near the entry. The stone pillar and copper lamp near the drive had flanked the terrace stairs. A second salvaged lamp is displayed in a niche above the fireplace in the living room. The new terrace and balusters are reconstructed from the original. A bench with lattice canopy, slatted circle-back chair, and wrought-iron furniture have also been recycled. A Japanese maple was among much landscape relocated to provide set-pieces and enhance relationships between house, site, and neighborhood. Other trees, including the exceptional copper beech, sugar gum and spruce, were carefully protected during construction. Throughout the site the memory of the old has been preserved to enrich the new.