2077 Kent Road (1985)


Like other structures built in response to the revival impulse in residential architecture during the first decades of the 20th century, this 1925 house is a hybrid, part Georgian Revival, part French Norman, its red brick and white dentiled cornice suggesting the former style, the steep gabled roof with hipped features suggesting the latter

The building was constructed in what had been developer Patrick Calhoun's Euclid Heights, an early real estate development on what was sometimes called "Turkey Ridge" or the Portage Escarpment. Built during that area's third phase, one following Calhoun's 1914 bancruptcy and subsequent land fire sale when a number of multi-family structures appeared on the escarpment, the Clark House represents a reaffirmation of Calhoun's original intent, that Euclid Heights, high in the healthy atmosphere of the Heights, was the appropriate setting for mini-estates, or what were sometimes called "City Men's farms" for the wealthy and well-born.


The original owners, the Cyrus Clark Fords, certainly embodied many of the characteristics of first generation Heights residents. Ford himself was a scion of an established Cleveland family, an accomplished equestrian, a champion polo player for the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, and a charter member of the Kirtland Country Club, where he lived with his wife while their Heights house was being built. His wife was the fondly-remembered Mrs. Ford of Mrs. Ford's Dancing School, a Cleveland institution where several generations of east side adolescents were taught the social graces from the ballroom of the Alcazar Hotel.


The building was designed by Boston architect Eddie Reid who is thought to have designed at least one other Cleveland project, a house on Denton Drive. Featuring the elegant plaster adornment and crown moldings of many fine houses of its type, the library is said to be the work of Cleveland interior designer Louis Rorimer, who assembled the butternut walls in his studio and reconstructed them at the site. Boldly decorated in primary colors and vivid patterns, the house nevertheless retains its original distinguished character.