Homes Past

489 East 88th Street "Orchards"

Plat Nos. 105-36-002 to 105-36-005 and 631-04-004 to 631-01-009
Sublots 1 and 2 in the Bratenahl Allotment
489 East 88th Street "Orchards"
489 East 88th Street "Orchards"

Dr. James and Clara Salisbury acquired subplot number 2 from Mary Bratenahl on April 19, 1873. They later purchased subplot number 1 from William Gordon May 23, 1884.

Charles F. Schweinfurth designed a mixed style house completed in 1885.

The property included a barn and greenhouses. The home was named “Orchards” for the beautiful orchards that surrounded it. Eastlake lathe work stood out. Clapboards covered the first floor and shingles the second. A fifty-four-foot tower provided a view of Canada.

Salisbury specified that Schweinfurth provide space within the house for both his research and his medical practice. The arrangement of the ground floor presented the challenge of separating family and professional activities within an integrated interior. Schweinfurth placed the office on the public side of the house, easily accessible from the front door. Presumably, patients could also wait in the vestibule.

To protect the privacy of the family, Schweinfurth designed relatively narrow openings between all primary living spaces. Furthermore, he enabled the family to move from the parlor to the kitchen without entering the front hall. While the proximity of the stairway and office door was curious, the inhabitants of the house could also use the wide stairway adjacent to the dining room.

The rooms were all finished in pine, except for the hardwood mantels that were in harmony with the decoration. Mr. Schweinfurth’s design consisted mainly of rough plaster, painted with a frieze of plaster, and in several of the rooms, paneled ceilings so that a visitor would be impressed by something bold, fresh, and original.

James and Fredericka Ferris acquired Orchards May 2, 1916, from Cleveland Trust. The architectural firm of Walker & Weeks did some interior design and alterations in 1920.

The United States Government acquired the home October 17, 1956, for use as the Nike Missile Site. After some protest, the U.S. Government spared the dwelling, greenhouse, and gardens of the 85-year-old widow. Fredericka continued to live in the house until her death. The U. S. Government then demolished the house and outbuildings in 1958.