12521 Lake Shore Boulevard
Plat No. 631-08-002
The western half of subplot 35 in the Gilbert, Coe and Shipherd Subdivision
Max and Jessica McMurray acquired the property from Lake Shore Realty on February 19, 1903. McMurray commissioned Walker & Weeks in 1907 to design their home. The architect instinctively continued the Italian style of Gwinn. The home was a large classical stucco villa. Some of the features, such as an arcaded veranda, had a decidedly Mediterranean air.
From the street, the house looked quite grand, but in reality, it was narrow, only one room and a hallway wide.
Flower gardens and a small artist’s studio with an attached greenhouse were created for Mrs. McMurray. A swimming pool was placed near the lake and a tennis court along the driveway.
The home had Venetian-type poles supporting a terrace awning, well-maintained gardens, a pool with enchanting gazebos and many young elm trees.
James and Elizabeth Ireland came to Cleveland from Duluth, Minnesota and acquired the home from Max McMurray on December 15, 1921.
In choosing this house, the Irelands ironically lived next door to friendly and competitive businessmen William Mather and Henry Dalton.
When Elizabeth remarried William Mather on May 18, 1929, she moved next door to Gwinn at 12407 Lake Shore Boulevard. Mrs. Mather kept her beloved “12521” and rented it out for the next 20 years, complete with a gardener, to reputable businessmen, family friends, and Cleveland Orchestra conductor, Nikolai Sokoloff.
James and Cornelia Ireland Jr. acquired the home on October 15, 1941, from James’ mother. Living next door to his mother proved to be a challenge, however, and before long, the young family moved to Cleveland Heights to be closer to friends and schools, but Jim continued his family tradition of renting 12521 and the artist’s studio.
George and Rebecca “Becky” Dunn rented the home.
The artist’s studio was made habitable and it was also rented to friends such as landscape architect William Strong and Louis and Diane Schwarz.
James and Elizabeth Davis rented the home around 1962.
Lucy and Charles Weller acquired the home from her mother, Cornelia Ireland on June 4, 1997. In 2003, a remodeling made the home a little more “family-friendly.” A section of the terrace was used to create a family room abutting the kitchen and a bedroom was added upstairs. The rest of the outdoor terrace was replaced with an enclosed sunroom better connecting the library and dining room to the kitchen/family room area and adding much-needed depth to the house.