Architectural historian provides additional information and corrections for February article on Madison Avenue

To the editor:

Plain Press, March 2021 I am submitting this letter in response to the version of the story about Madison Avenue that appeared in the printed version of the February 2021 issue of the newspaper.

A historic house mentioned in the story – next door to Cleveland Lumber and sometimes known as “Twin Peaks” – includes an erroneous year of construction.  It was built in 1889 (not 1900).  The latter date came from the County Auditor site (these dates are either what an owner or tenant said, or a guess by a County appraiser).  Also mentioned was a particular previous owner.  When this ownership occurred was not mentioned, but I can tell you that it was the ownership that spanned from 1988 to 2007.  It tells the story of that owner being forced to lose that ownership due to an unpaid balance on a large amount of money spent on the house.  Although not mentioned in the story, this primarily was due to the installation by that owner of very expensive “designer” wallpaper, inspired by wallpaper available during the initial years of occupation of the house.  The amount of “about a quarter of a million dollars” in the story is most likely an exaggeration, though.  It most likely was much closer to one-tenth that amount.  Any significant, overdue debt can lead to a loss of one’s assets, including one’s house.  In fact, out of apparent desperation, this owner sold the vintage iron fence that had, no doubt, been in front of the house for over a century.  It was purchased and reinstalled in front of another late-19th-century house on Franklin Boulevard.  Despite this effort, the owner lost possession of the house, anyway.

Last but not least, there is also a mention of a “Cleveland Historical Society” in this story.  There is no organization with that name. 

— Craig Bobby, architectural historian

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