Homes Past

11908 Lake Shore Boulevard

Plat No. 631-22-001

The home was listed in the Ohio Historic Inventory

11908 Lake Shore Boulevard - 1911
11908 Lake Shore Boulevard - 1911

Albert and Jane Ingalls purchased three and a half acres bordered by Lake Shore Boulevard, Coit Road, and the golf course on February 24, 1903, from Lake Shore Realty Company. The couple built an Arts and Crafts style home, a squash court, a carriage house, and a gardener’s house designed by Bonhard and Parsson.

Bohnard and Parsson were active between 1905 and 1932, with principles William A. Bohnard and Raymond Parsson. Initially, their offices were in the Chamber of Commerce Building, later moving to 1900 Euclid Avenue. The firm was mainly known for residential architecture in the Cleveland suburbs of Lakewood and Cleveland Heights.

Bohnard & Parsson designed three other Bratenahl residences: The Dean Holden home at 11239 Lake Shore, the Clairborne Pirtle home at 298 Corning, and the Herman Vail home at 9448 Lake Shore.

The design was strangely exuberant in matters of scale and detail, using arches, masks, and roundels for ornament. The manor house and outbuildings were constructed of roughcast stucco on a brick foundation, some half-timbering, and a pantile roof.

The house was approached from the north through a porte-cochère spanning the drive supported on fluted columns with Tuscan capitals. West and south of the house was a raised terrace with heavy stone balustrading, set on a brick foundation, as high as that of the house.

The house entered through a center hall with a reversed staircase whose landing windows rose above the front door. The living room lay to the right and the library and dining room to the left of the hall. The interior woodwork was of oak carved with an abundance of imagination in the form of human and animal heads and foliage.

After living with the Arts and Crafts style for about ten years, Mrs. Ingalls decided to try again, calling back Bonhard to enlarge the home with a wing projecting from the center of the south front and remove the porte-cochère and stone balustrading of the terraces. The addition permitted a total of six principal bedrooms and their baths along with four staff bedrooms and a bathroom for the second floor. A swimming pool and squash court were also added.

Bonhard changed the interior to eighteenth-century English with a library brought from England and installed in the house. The dining room was enlarged and paneled with walls containing cupboards for the concealed storage of china, crystal, and silver. An inlaid marble Adam style mantle imported from England for the dining room, and a magnificent crystal chandelier holding a hundred lights, given by Czar Nicholas II to William Howard Taft, was installed. Meals always concluded with the withdrawal of the men to a separate room to smoke.

An unverified story handed down that Ingalls constructed a spur from his estate to the Lake Shore & Southern Michigan tracks in 1914, enabling a private car to transport him to work downtown in the morning and drop him off at home at night. However, The Country Club golf course occupied the property between the Ingalls property and the railroad, and there is no evidence of tracks across the golf course. Maps show a siding westbound, parallel to the tracks ending at Coit Station almost to Eddy Road.

Cleveland Trust Company acquired the home on September 16, 1929.

Richard and Kathy Browning acquired the home on April 30, 1966, and subsequently razed the manor house that had been gutted before their purchase. The Brownings were lured to the squash house by Hope Dempsey, who had rented the property when she and Andrew were first married. Fanny and Seth Taft also lived in the house while they were building their home in Pepper Pike. Laird and Jill Landis also lived there as bride and groom.

Marco Noce acquired the property on August 31, 1995.

Marco and Kelly Noce acquired the property on April 16, 1997.

Liberatore Noce and Franco Noce acquired the property on March 17, 1999.

Farbettre Ltd. acquired the property on August 28, 2001.