Homes Past

193 Bratenahl Road "Lakehurst"

Plat No. 631-04-001

This home was on the National Register of Historic Places

193 Bratenahl Road "Lakehurst"
193 Bratenahl Road "Lakehurst"

Sophia Strong Taylor decided to leave Taylorhurst at Terrace Road and Taylor Hill in East Cleveland and acquired Villa Hedges on October 19, 1915. By this time, the estate had been reduced to 19 acres but was still the largest parcel of property in the area. Mrs. Taylor razed the Robison home and commissioned Charles Sumner Schneider, who trained with Meade & Garfield and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, to design Lakehurst. The 26-room home was completed in 1918.

Lakehurst was an elegant example of Georgian Revival architecture accented with Neo-Adamesque ornamentation. The façade contained seven bays with double-hung six-over-six windows and departed from symmetry with the substitution of a large round-head window in one bay to illuminate a staircase and the addition of a cameo window in another bay. The doorway on the south elevation contained a six-panel door with tracery fanlight and half-length sidelights.

Sophia Taylor constructed an enormous lily pond, a peacock house, and exceptionally fine docking facilities. White peacocks roamed her eighteen-acre lawn.

Edward Francis Hoban, sixth Catholic bishop of Cleveland, acquired Lakehurst on July 7, 1943, through the efforts of Eleanor Strong, Sophia Taylor’s sister-in-law, after the property had languished for seven years. This was also after the Bishop’s efforts to acquire Edgewater at 12611 Lake Shore Boulevard had failed.

The bishop added a chapel connected to the west elevation of the main house. The chapel had stained-glass windows from 18th century France, a multi-colored marble floor laid in a geometric pattern, paneled walls painted with floral motifs and a ceiling mural above the altar. Hoban also constructed a one-hole golf course to indulge his love for playing golf.

Bishop Clarence G. Issenmann was transferred to Cleveland and lived on the estate after Bishop Hoban became ill.

Sea Gull Inc. represented by attorney Donald D. Smith acquired the property from James Hickey, bishop of Cleveland, February 9, 1978. Smith, one of eight bidders, planned to put together a group to finance the remainder so as to develop the area possibly into a townhouse complex.

John J. Carney and Betty Jane Kazen acquired the estate from Sea Gull Inc. on December 28, 1987.

Carney and architect Robert Corna made a presentation in 1984 to preserve the Lakehurst mansion by making it a party center and adding a swimming pool and tennis courts for use of all residents. Duplex townhouses would be added in a staggered arrangement, many with a lake view. A seven-story mid-rise would be added next to the mansion. The total would be 161 units. The plan was rejected.

John Ferchill and Mike Fratello submitted plans for a Lakehurst Planned Residential Development that was approved in 1998. The cost of renovation of the home proved to be prohibitive and the historic mansion was razed.  Lakehurst was transformed into a gated community of 18 single-family homes.