Homes Current

12611 Lake Shore Boulevard "Edgewater"

Plat No. 631-08-001
Subplot 34 in the Gilbert, Coe and Shipherd Subdivision

The home is listed in the Ohio Historic Inventory

12611 Lake Shore Boulevard "Edgewater"
12611 Lake Shore Boulevard "Edgewater"

Henry and Julia Dalton purchased approximately five acres of the combined properties of Harry and Emily Griggs plus John and Nettie Webb on June 19, 1909. Dalton had also purchased extensive acreage on the south side of the boulevard. Abram Garfield designed the majestic 8,400 square-foot Georgian Revival mansion with its specific brick exterior veneer in 1910. Garfield stated that it was, in his opinion, one of his three best home designs.

The living room featured hand-carved ribbons of oakleaf, vines, and flowers outlining the ceiling, ringing the windows, and adorning the fireplace. The library had a wall sconce with a long wire that could be moved and taken over to a bookshelf to illuminate.

The dining room ceiling highlighted hand-painted wood with a floral motif by an unknown Italian artist. The initials of Henry and Julia Dalton were painted on the ceiling in gold, one guesses, the places where they presided. The Pompeian breakfast room was done with murals and a colored terrazzo floor.

There were nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two lavatories, and seven fireplaces throughout the house. The sunroom with a beautiful view of the lake was presumed to have been Mrs. Dalton’s bedroom because a safe was in the closet. The adjoining bathroom highlighted a teak floor and a round shower stall with a huge shower head and sixteen side sprays.

In addition to its stately beauty. the house was very solidly constructed. Steel beams and concrete reinforce the house. There is an 18-inch barrier between the basement and the first floor. If there were an explosion in the boiler room in the basement, nothing on the upper floors would be affected.

Dalton had fourteen trunk lines installed in the basement to accommodate direct telephone lines throughout the Great Lakes. Every room had a vacuum cleaning system installed. A primitive air conditioning system allowed a change from steam heat to a hot-cold air system.

Two one-hundred-gallon tanks received water from the lake to be filtered and used throughout the house and gardens. With the advent of city water in later years, the filtration system was no longer needed. However, the extensive watering system that spanned the entire property for the lawn and gardens, with remote valve locations placed in the gardens, front and back yards, continued to use lake water. The system was considered advanced engineering at the time the home was built and landscaped.

Another engineering detail was the deliberate placement of the two coal-fired furnaces in the basement under the first-floor marble entrance hall. Any potential outbreak of fire would be contained to the basement furnace room and not spread throughout the rest of the house. Also, the coal room adjacent to the furnace room was located under the outdoor concrete front steps so that the heat would melt the snow and ice off the steps in the winter.

Five acres of gardens surrounded the home. Julia Dalton supervised the gardens, which she did with knowledge, care, and passion.

Harry Dalton Kendrick and George S. Kendrick, nephews of Henry Dalton, received the property through inheritance on April 29, 1942.

William Mather purchased Edgewater on May 19, 1943. The Mathers wanted to “square off” the property lines of Mrs. Mather’s former home, upon which a corner of the Dalton estate impinged, as well as to ensure that Edgewater remained in desirable hands. Mathers refused to sell to Bishop Hoban. Benjamin Brown, director of the Council of World Affairs, rented the house for a short period. He commented that he lived in the London Museum of Art.

Benjamin Brown, director of the Council of World Affairs, rented the home. He commented that he felt as if he lived in the London Museum of Art.

Dr. Charles and Ileana McKhann rented Edgewater for several years from the Mathers and then purchased the estate on January 12, 1948. The McKhanns built a projection room in the basement and village children were invited to see movies.

Elizabeth Mather, having retained a right of first refusal, repurchased Edgewater on June 18, 1954. Casting about for some productive use of the mansion, she had an idea of establishing the Little Bratenahl Club. Members were required to pay $10 in dues every four months and agree to entertain at least once a week at the club, which offered services for hosting lunch, dinner, tea, bridge meetings, readings, concerts, exhibits, and dance parties. Overnight guests could also be accommodated. Net proceeds were to benefit some of the major arts and cultural institutions at University Circle. There is no evidence of how long the Little Bratenahl Club operated or whether it opened.

James Duane Ireland Jr. inherited the property from his mother, Elizabeth Mather, on August 23, 1958.

John and Marie Dempsey II, firmly established residents of Bratenahl, purchased the mansion from James Ireland Jr. on March 23, 1959, contingent on Dempsey’s realization of his plan to launch the Bratenahl Development Corporation.

Press accounts have stated that the home had a bar in the basement that was a replica of one found on the ocean liner, Queen Mary. There was an odd-shaped bar located in the basement that would accommodate about 20 people at most. Dempsey said that by no means was the bar a replica of the one on the famous liner.

In 1959, a CBS-TV production crew came to the home to film an episode from the TV program “Route 66”. The show premiered on CBS on October 7, 1960, and ran until March 20, 1964, for 116 episodes. The show followed two young men traversing the United States in a Chevrolet Corvette and the events and consequences surrounding their journeys. The show filmed two other episodes at 12725 and 12821 Lake Shore Boulevard.

Abraham and Natalie Feldesman acquired Edgewater on June 30, 1977. They allowed Edgewater to be exhibited on a Bratenahl Recreation Committee House Tour.

Masumi Sato, president of Kobe Steel USA Inc., acquired Edgewater on October 6, 1989, for use as lodging for Kobe executives during visits to subsidiaries of the Tokyo-based company. The renovation took six months. The entire water system from the lake was removed in 1990.

Kobe Steel USA Inc. managed the Tokyo company’s 21 subsidiaries, affiliates, and associated companies in the United States. Kobe had purchased a fifty percent interest in USX Corporation’s steel mill in Lorain. They also acquired a plastics manufacturer and a machine maker in the area.

Peter and Vikki Broer acquired the home on April 17, 2000. In September 2000, eighty-one-year-old Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi and the sixth richest man in the world, checked into the Cleveland Clinic for heart surgery. More than one hundred people, including high-ranking government officials, security aides, cooks, servants, and relatives arrived at Cleveland Hopkins Airport in a fleet of four private jets. The entourage took a caravan of limousines and rental trucks to Edgewater and the Intercontinental Hotel.