12817 Lake Shore Boulevard "Chetolah"
Plat No. 631-09-003
Western half of sublot 3 in the Stackpole and Osborn Subdivision
William Raynolds and Kate Parsons acquired the property from James and Ida Robinson on September 2, 1887.
Horace and Alice Fuller acquired the property on July 16, 1892. The Fullers engaged Charles Schweinfurth to design their Victorian-style home.
Charles Frederick Schweinfurth was born on September 3, 1856, in Auburn, New York. His first architectural assignment in Cleveland was a grand stone mansion on Euclid Avenue for Sylvester Everett. By 1910, Schweinfurth had completed at least 15 residential designs for prominent and wealthy Clevelanders on Euclid Avenue’s “Millionaires’ Row” between East 12th and East 40th streets.
Significant commissions included the Union Club in 1905, and Trinity Cathedral & Parish House in 1907, which many critics and historians deem his most exceptional work. He designed several buildings on the early Adelbert and Mather college grounds.
Schweinfurth designed three other Bratenahl residences: the Salisbury home at 489 East 88th Street, the Liberty Holden home at 8907 Lake Shore Boulevard, and Samuel Mather's Shoreby at 12023 Lake Shore Boulevard.
On the southeast corner of the house was a formal living room with a fireplace at the end flanked by fluted wood columns. To the right of the entrance hall was a semicircular foyer formed by the three-story turret leading into a large formal dining room. At the other end of the dining room was a door to a butler’s pantry and kitchen. At the southwest corner was a breakfast room.
The second floor had three large bedrooms. The master suite overlooking the lake had a semicircular alcove in the turret. On the southeast corner was a large bedroom overlooking a pool. The third floor had a turret nursery room, with shelves and cupboards for toys. There were several bedrooms and baths for servants. The cook stayed on the third floor while most servants stayed in houses south of Lake Shore Boulevard.
John and Mildred Putnam acquired the lakefront mansion on November 2, 1926. Frank Meade of the architectural firm of Meade and Hamilton redesigned the house, adding a living room, master bedroom and bath, step-down room off the dining room and servant quarters
The estate of Peter Putnam received the property from the Mildred Putnam Trust on January 7, 1988. The property transferred to the Mildred Andrews Fund on May 14, 1989. Although eccentric, Peter tripled his family's fortune by successfully investing in risky stock ventures. He was well-prepared in the event of his death, leaving behind an airtight will with the bulk of his estate going to the Nature Conservancy, the most significant gift the organization had received.
Case Western Reserve University was granted the home by Robert Bouhall, trustee of the Mildred Andrews Fund, on August 18, 1994, per Peter Andrew's request with a trust fund to restore it and an endowment to maintain it. The home received a million-dollar restoration by Ronald Sarstedt Architects and the Roediger Construction Company. The house was intended to be used by visiting professors and lecturers to the university as a residence.
Eric and Janette Stephenson acquired the home on September 24, 2018.