2374 Roxboro Road (1998)
The two graceful stone whippets guarding the front entrance of this French eclectic home give no hint of the surprises that lie within, which are the result of a close working relationship between very knowledgeable owners and very innovative and creative architects. Built in the early 1920s as part of the tightly controlled Euclid Golf development, the house was purchased by the present owners in 1965. Thirty years later they began the process that has transformed it into a stunning combination of the old and the new.
Of most interest is the "omniroom," a space created from the expansion of the porch. The 33-foot ceiling consists of a soaring "dissected pyramid," with glass panels providing a complete view of the sky and the garden into which the room opens.
The kitchen was created from what the owner describes as a "warren of little rooms," including a pantry and various cupboards. Today it is an interesting triangular shape, with custom-designed cabinets of maple and cherry with ebony accents, and an island counter of granite in the shape of a trapezoid. The skillful use of granite and wood tie the rooms together. Contemporary paintings and sculpture, bright rugs, and comfortable furniture in muted colors complete a home which is both exciting and eminently livable.
The house earned Klament/Stauffer Architects an Honor Award for excellence in architectural design from the American Institute of Architects. It also received a Community Improvement Award given jointly by the City of Cleveland Heights and the Heights Community Congress.
The problem of fitting a contemporary addition into a neighborhood of highly traditional homes was solved in a variety of ways. The house is on a corner lot, and the front remains untouched. Along the side street, the new brick wall is slit by high narrow recessed windows. The angles of the roof are sympathetic to the angles of the original roof, but what really ties the two sections together is the re-used brick from the old Hough bakery on Lakeview Avenue in Cleveland., which was built in the same era as the houses on the Euclid Golf development. Fortuitously, it was being torn down at the time the Roxboro addition was in the planning stage.
The building of the addition provided a series of field trips for a neighborhood kindergarten class. They received an ongoing lesson in construction by visiting the house during its transformation, observing and talking to various craftsmen, who often stopped their work to explain to the young students what they were doing. This must surely have been an enriching experience that the children are unlikely to forget.