City of Oberlin Historic Landmarks

Learn about the buildings designated as Oberlin Historic Landmarks by the City of Oberlin Historic Preservation Commission. The landmarks are listed in alphabetical order by street name and include their historic names.  (This information is also available in hard-copy form.  Stop by the Oberlin Heritage Center's office to pick up your free copy!) 

 

Property owners or others with questions or with additional information they would like to share about the history of the buildings in the series are encouraged to contact Liz Schultz at the Oberlin Heritage Center at 774-1700 or to send an email.  Read this pdf for more information about Oberlin's Historic Preservation Ordinance and City Historic Landmark Status.

 

Tappan Square (1833)

Tappan Square 1833

Thirteen-acre square originally known as the Campus contained early college buildings until the 1940s. Olmsted Brothers of Boston introduced professional landscaping in 1914. Following instructions in the will of Charles Martin Hall, who admired open space and left funds to maintain it, all buildings on square razed by 1927. Clark bandstand in northeast quadrant built 1987. National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark.

Kennedy House c. 1890
91 South Cedar

Home of H.P. Kennedy, carpenter and town councilman.  The many people who have lived here include Professor Francis D. Kelsey, who formed Oberlin College’s first botany department.  Under his direction the college herbarium became a national resource for botanists. In 2003 Oberlin College art curator Stephen Borys and his wife Hazel bought the house and restored it following architect Susan Henderson's plan. Vernacular with elements of folk Victorian gable-ell planand Craftsman styles, leaded glass windows, turned porch posts.

Hall House (1853)

Hall House 1853
64 East College

Boyhood home of Charles Martin Hall, who, working in a woodshed formerly attached to the house, discovered electrolytic process for producing aluminum. Later founder of Alcoa and philanthropist who gave generously to Oberlin and other colleges.Early Italianate style with central cupola, ornate milled brackets, stone lintels. National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Chemical Landmark.

Squire House (c. 1900)

Squire House c. 1900
82 East College

Home of Merton M. Squire, president of State Savings Bank.  Later owned by Lois R. Cummings, kindergarten teacher who rented to boarders.  Social activist Shirley R. Johnson and architect Douglas Johnson lived in a first-floor apartment in the 1940s.  Good example of Queen Anne style, with wrap-around porch, octagonal two-story tower, and bay windows.

Metcalf-Leonard House (late 1850s)

Metcalf-Leonard House late 1850s
174 East College

Home of Charles Metcalf, mayor of Oberlin in the 1880s, and later of the Reverend D.L. Leonard—author of a one-volume history of Oberlin College—and his son Dr. Fred Leonard, professor of physical education at the college. Purchased in 1968 by Oberlin College mathematics professor George Andrews and his wife Marlene, who lived here for 41 years. The house is Oberlin’s most unusual survivor of the Greek Revival style, with corner pilasters, dentil cornice.

Langston House (1856)

Langston House 1856
207 East College

Home of Oberlin College graduate John Mercer Langston, Ohio’s first African-American lawyer, a prominent abolitionist, civil rights leader, minister to Haiti, and Republican Congressman from Virginia. Gable-roofed, early Italianate style with elongated windows and double-leaf doors. National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark.

Stevens-Wood House (1862)

Stevens-Wood House 1862
228 East College

Home of George Stevens, an early Oberlin postmaster. H. Delos Wood bought the house in 1881, and it remained in his family for more than 90 years. Brick Italianate with low-pitched hip roof and wide, bracketed eaves; porches replaced in 1913.

Houghton House (1906)

Houghton House 1906
257 East College

Home of Oberlin Postmaster Morton Houghton and his wife Grace. Morton served as postmaster from 1913 to 1923 and again from 1933 to 1949. Earlier he had attended the Oberlin Academy and College and had purchased (with James Wood) the Oberlin Concrete and Coal Co. Morton's twin daughters Margaret and Martha both graduated from Oberlin College. The house remained in the Houghton family for nearly fifty years, before becoming the home of George Hunter, a restaurant owner, and his wife Gayle, director of the Oberlin City Schools' cafeterias. An American foursquare home with Queen Anne elements: broad front porch with fluted columns, second story projecting bay with roof coming to a point for a tower effect.

Richards House (1911)

Richards House 1911
270 East College

Home of Mary and Erwin Richards, missionaries to Africa. Designed to be large enough so that Mary could rent rooms to students to supplement her income in later years. Erwin Richards died in 1929 and she took in students until 1964. It was then purchased by Richard and Dina Schoonmaker, who were, respectively, chemistry professor and special collections preservation librarian at Oberlin College. They lived here for 45 years. Two-and-one-half story clapboard house with spacious indented front porch, large three-window bay on west side, and raised sandstone foundation. Vernacular gable-ell plan.

Burrell-King House (1852)

Burrell-King House 1852
315 East College

Home of Jabez Lyman Burrell, Oberlin College trustee, abolitionist, and philanthropist. Later home of Henry Churchill King, Oberlin College president from 1902 to 1927. Other residents include Oberlin College Conservatory piano professor Axel Skjerne and his wife Ebba, who lived in the house for about 30 years. In 1954 he was knighted by the Danish king for his promotion of Danish music in the United States. The house is now owned by Oberlin College and houses the Community Music School. Greek Revival style with neo-Georgian porches added by King. Sandstone lintels, wide cornice returns, and multi-paned windows are part of the original house. National Register of Historic Places.

Hart House (1875)

Hart House 1875
525 East College

Home of Flavius Hart, Oberlin furniture maker and businessman, who ran a feed and cider mill next to his house and later owned a small furniture factory and store downtown. One of Oberlin's few Democrats, he became postmaster in 1894. Second Empire style, molded cornice with brackets, elongated windows, one of two surviving brick Mansard homes in Oberlin.

Carpenter Block (begun 1886)

Carpenter Block begun 1886
5 West College (sw corner of Main St.)

Built gradually over several years following a downtown fire; three tones of brick along College Street façade show building stages; second-story offices, double bay windows looks toward Tappan Square, sandstone string courses, stained glass windows. Architect: Frank Weary of Akron. Within Downtown Oberlin National Register Historic District.

Kinney House (1911)

Kinney House 1911
265 West College

Home of Carl W. Kinney, editor of Tribune newspaper (later merged into News‑Tribune). After 1956 home of German professor Joseph Reichard and his wife Anita Reichard, Oberlin College dean of women in the late 1960s. Architect: Joseph Lyman Silsbee (Silsbee was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first professional mentor; hip roof, broad eaves, and open floor plan suggest influence of Prairie School).

Rice-Moore House (1871)

Rice-Moore House 1871
155 Elm

Oberlin College president James Fairchild had the house built by craftsman J.S. Wright, who lived here until 1874, when it was sold to Fenelon B.Rice, early director of Oberlin College Conservatory. Later the home of David R. Moore, history professor. Frame Italianate style, hip roof with brackets, decorative cornice, wrapping porch.

 

Wattles House 1884
166 Elm

In 1885 this house was the home of Esther Wattles, a widow, and her three young daughters. Esther and her husband John(died 1859) were abolitionists of Quaker background who worked in Kansas and Ohio, assisting John Brown, educating former slaves, and advocating for women's rights. One daughter, Lucretia, became a student at the Oberlin College Consevatory and then, for 44 years, professor of pianoforte. Another daughter, Harmonia, was the first dean of women in the Oberlin College Conservatory(1900-1914). Daughter Theona was an Oberlin College graduate. George and Ada Hastings, both pianoforte teachers in the conservatory, moved in about 1916, and their family and descendants occupied the house for 90 years. Queen Anne style with Stick Style posts and diagonal beams on the wraparound porch.

 

Wright-Carter House (1880)

Wright-Carter House 1880
171 Elm

Home of J.N. Wright, prosperous timber merchant from Upper Michigan, whose daughter married H.H. Carter, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music piano professor. Purchased in 1967 by Oberlin College English professor Dewey Ganzel and editor Carol Ganzel, who lived here for almost 40years. Handsome brickwork and Swiss chalet-style details in broad eaves and bold timberwork about the porch.

William Evans House (1877)

William Evans House 1877
172 Elm

Home of William Evans, a Welsh mason who emigrated with his bride to the United States in 1865 and made money designing railroad bridges. Numerous owners and boarders lived in this house, including Oberlin College education professor Floyd Gove, government professor Thomas Flinn, and professors of creative writing Diane Vreuls and Stuart Friebert. Brick house with gently arched stone caps over the windows and decorative porthole in the gable. Vernacular Italianate with square bracketed columns, cornice returns.

 

Thompson House (1874)

Thompson House 1874
221 Elm

Home of the Thompson family. In the 1880s, Francis Thompson helped create a coal and lumber business on the south Main Street called Cole and Thompson's, which ultimately became Watson's Hardware, which still operates today. Helen Cox, a daughter of Charles Finney, and First Lady of Ohio from 1866-1868 lived in the house after her husband, Governor Jacob Dolson Cox, died. Later, this house was home to Frank W. Tobin, board member of the Oberlin Bank, college prudential committee member and Tumleson family: Carl S., the President of the Oberlin School of Commerce. His wife Emily, and his son and daughter-in-law Robert and Ruth Tumbleson, also associated with the school. Italianate style with carved brackets on the cornice and double front doors.

 

A.G. Comings House

A.G. Comings House c. 1879
249 Elm

The Comings family lived in this house for 40 years, Andrew and Emilie Comings from 1897-1927 and their son Charles and his wife Elizabeth until 1938. The A.G. Comings & Son bookstore was at 37 West College Street until 1959. Both Andrew and Charles served as school board and town council members and as mayor. Later owners included Oberlin College professors and administrators, among them Professor of Music History Richard Murphy, whose family owned the house for 37 years. Queen Anne style with wrapping porch, bay windows.

 

Doolittle House (1897)
Doolittle House 1897
291 Elm

Home of Charles P. Doolittle, teacher of violoncello and harmony at the Oberlin Conservatory from 1885 to 1911 and college superintendent of buildings and grounds for 18 years. He developed bicycle paths around Tappan Square and north out of Oberlin during the summer of 1895. Professor of History Robert S. Fletcher, who wrote a definitive history of early Oberlin, bought the house in 1931. The Colonial Revival/Shingle-style house displays symmetry of line and fenestration, a well-defined cornice, and a broad-hipped roof.

 

Edward Johnson House (1876)

Edward Johnson House 1876
111 Forest

Home of clothing merchant Edward P. Johnson, brother of Albert H. Johnson who later built the house at 216 South Professor. In the 1920s it served as a boarding house for Oberlin College men. Italian-villa style with bracketed tower rising to a flat octagonal crown, tall French windows, and front door of intricate symmetrical design.

 

 

A.A. Wright House (1880)

A.A. Wright House 1880
123 Forest

Home of two prominent Oberlin academic families: A.A. Wright, professor of botany and geology, built the front of the house on property formerly part of the 1840s college farm that his father managed. In the 1920s Lloyd W. Taylor, professor of physics, and his wife Esther B. Taylor, a forceful temperance activist, bought the house; she lived in it until 1975. Vernacular style with angular flaring roofline, decorative chimney, and interior chestnut and walnut woodwork.

 

Oberlin College President's House (1920)

Oberlin College President's House 1920
154 Forest

Built for Oberlin College physics professor Samuel R. Williams, bought by Oberlin College in 1927 for president’s home. Symmetrical 18th-century New England Georgian style; warm red brick, hip roof, central pavilion with broad white pilasters. Architect: Clarence Ward, Oberlin College art professor. National Register of Historic Places.

 

Burklew-Barnard House c.1908
174 Forest

Dentist John E. Barnard and his wife Clara lived here with F.E. Burklew, owner of Oberlin Tire Shop. Later owners include Oberlin College professor of French W. Hayden Boyers, who founded the college's Gilbert & Sullivan Players in 1949; professor of mathematics E.P. Vance; and the college's assistant director of development in the 1960s, Walter Reeves. Craftsman style with full front porch and exposed rafters below broad eaves.

 

Arnold House (1880)

Arnold House 1880
181 Forest

Home of George Arnold, a grain merchant, who, in 1881, helped build Oberlin’s first intercity telephone exchange. For several decades in the early 20th century, home of Simon Fraser MacLennan, Oberlin College professor of psychology, philosophy, and comparative religion. Red brick Italianate style with brackets under the cornice and brick decorative arches over the windows, elegant portico, double-leaf doors

 Gardner-Yeaton-Glazier House (1886)

Gardner House 1886
189 Forest

Home of John Gardner, local pharmacist.  He lived here until 1917.  In 1929 the house was purchased by Chester Yeaton, Oberlin College Professor of mathematics, and Ethel Yeaton, Professor of philosophy, who died in 1941.  Chester Yeaton and Marie Johnson, mathematics professor, married in 1943.  She lived here through 1970.  Well preserved Queen Anne style, with large bay window facing street, east-facing stained glass window, front door with sidelights and transom, diagonal clapboard siding below first story windows, hip roof with arched window in gable at center front.

 


Andrews House 1893
195 Forest

Built for organ and composition professor George Whitfield Andrews, who taught in the Oberlin College Conservatory from 1882 to 1931. His daughter and son-in-law, violin professor Reber Johnson, maintained the home until 1964 when it was sold to the college and divided into apartments. In 1977 James Caldwell and his wife Catharina Meints, conservatory professors, bought and restored the house. Queen Anne Victorian with tower and Eastlake detailing, stained glass windows.


Cahill House c.1886
230 Forest

Home of Civil War veteran Dr. Timothy Cahill and his three sons. The sons invented the Telharmonium, a machine that produced music to be transmitted via telephone lines to multiple listeners. The house was remodeled in 1915 for owner Mrs. H.S. Bennett, giving it the appearance of a Craftsman style bungalow, with elements from an 1886 house. Later residents were G.H. Steele, manager of Ohio Electrical Power in 1935; Mary and Louis D. Hartson, professor of psychology; and professor of philosophy Norman Care and Barbara Care, teacher in Oberlin schools and Lake Ridge Academy. Vernacular style gabled house with ell, craftsman influence in porch and windows.

Andrus House (1908)

Andrus House 1908
251 Forest

Home of the Reverend Jonathan Andrus, later of the Yocom family, local merchants. From 1966 to 1978 home of Evan and Cindy Nord, who worked for historic preservation and other philanthropic causes, including the Oberlin Early Childhood Center. Prairie style influence with horizontal lines, wide overhang hip roof with clay tiles. Architect: Daniel Reamer, son of Reamer Place developer.

Hollingsworth House (c. 1873)

Hollingsworth House c. 1873
37 Groveland

Home of Richard Hollingsworth, a carpenter who lived here for 30 years beginning about 1895. The gable end of the house features a first-floor bay window and second-floor double window, both supported by brackets. Gingerbread under the cornice has fleur-de-lis and clover patterns. Doorway on east-side porch has arched sidelights. Vernacular Gothic style.

Rust United Methodist Church (1915-1916)

Rust United Methodist Church 1915-1916
128 Groveland

Oldest predominately black congregation in Oberlin moved to frame building on this site in 1875 as Second Methodist Episcopal Church.  Present building has two remnants of the earlier church:  bell and large stained-glass rose window on the east wall. Mission style influence with square tower, arched belfry, low roofline with broad eaves.

Von Blum-Broadwell House 1939
39 King

John Von Blum, Oberlin College graduate and lawyer, built the house. Hartley and Dorothy Broadwell bought it in 1948; he was city clerk in the 1930s and she worked at a bookstore; later Hartley co-owned Janby Oil Company, Oberlin's first modern gas station, at 90 South Main. Their son Howard and his wife Jean were the next owners. Jean taught at Eastwood School and Howard founded Broadwell Painting with his son Scott. Colonial Revival with door to the extreme left of main facade, filled fanlights above door and first floor windows. Architect: Leonard L. Broida of Cleveland.

 

Mt. Zion Church

Mount Zion Church 1904
47 Locust

Baptist church founded by a predominantly African American congregation in 1866. After a split from First Baptist Church due to a lack of freedom of worship, early church meetings started in the homes of the Martin, Dickerson, and McGee families. When these families, along with Reverend Brown had saved enough money, groundbreaking for a new building began on July 4, 1893. Many of the masons working on the construction were also members of the church. The cornerstone was then laid December 4, 1904. The sanctuary was later remodeled in 1952 and an educational wing was added in 1962. It has been home to many great pastors such as Dr. Fred Steen, Dr. Gardner Taylor, and Dr. Howard Thurman. It was built in the Romanesque Revival style complete with a small tower and rectangular stained glass windows. 

 

 

 

 


 

Smith-Baumann House (c. 1890)

Smith-Baumann House c. 1890
64 East Lorain

Home of Henry F. Smith, who opened Gem pharmacy in 1893, became vice-president of People’s Bank in 1906, served on city council, and in 1922 was elected mayor. Smith sold the property to Albert and Zaidee Baumann in 1948. Queen Anne style with tower, wrap-around porch, and foyer chimney that encircles a stained-glass window.

 

 

West House (1881)

West House 1881
461 West Lorain

Home of Amasa West, who farmed the land from West Lorain to Morgan and delivered coal in town until 1919. House often opened to tourists during the Depression, then a duplex; land subdivided in the 1950s for the Robin Park development. Now a combined professional office and residence. Red brick Italianate style.

 

 

First Church (1842)

First Church 1842
106 North Main (nw corner of Lorain St.)

First church in Oberlin, often called the meetinghouse, early center of community life. Charles G. Finney, evangelist and later Oberlin College president, served as pastor for 37 years. For many decades the largest religious structure in the Western Reserve. Site of addresses by nationally prominent speakers from Frederick Douglass to Woodrow Wilson. Built from plans by Richard Bond, prominent New England architect; tower from design of Asher Benjamin pattern book. Greek Revival style. National Register of Historic Places.

 

Commercial Block (1882)

Goodrich Block 1882
5-11 South Main (se corner of College St.)

Built after a great downtown fire, shows new trends in commercial architecture of the time: iron skeleton of supporting columns and crossbeams, smooth pressed brick (“Chicago brick”) exterior facing, and big plate-glass windows in the store fronts, ornate cornice. Corner occupied by bookstore, later by bank. Architect: Walter Blythe of Cleveland. Within Downtown Oberlin National Register Historic District.

 

Union School/ New Union Center for the Arts (1874)

Union School (New Union Center for the Arts) 1874
39 South Main

Built in 1873-74 for all grades. Two new schools for lower grades were built in 1887, and in 1903 the Union School was granted a high school state charter. The last class graduated in 1923. From then until 1961 it was an Oberlin College classroom building, Westervelt Hall. The Nord Family Foundation purchased the building for conversion into an arts center in 1995. Tower reconstructed in 1997. Gothic Revival with Italianate influence in symmetry, cornice embellishments, and oculus window. Architect: Walter Blythe of Cleveland. National Register of Historic Places.

 

Post Office (1934)

Post Office 1934
68 South Main

Built here through influence of Oberlin College trustee Grove Patterson, editor of Toledo newspaper and friend of U.S. Postmaster, this building’s quasi-classical exterior was first in Oberlin to follow federal government guidelines for public buildings. Tan brick trimmed with Kipton sandstone; fluted Doric columns frame the entry, sculptural urns flanking portico. Architect: Alfred Hahn of Toledo. Within Downtown Oberlin National Register Historic District.

 

Old City Hall (1919-1920)

Old City Hall 1919-1920
69 South Main

When new the Oberlin Town Hall accommodated the fire department (north side of first floor), the city clerk, the clerk of Russia Township, the mayor’s and other offices, the waterworks laboratory, and the council chamber.  A brown brick building of prairie and Art Deco design with stone trim.  Architect:  “Mr. Walters” of Cleveland – probably George Charles Walters.

 

Christ Church (1859)

Christ Church 1859
162 South Main

The second of Oberlin’s churches, designed in Romanesque variant of Gothic Revival, buttresses, round arches. Twentieth-century stained-glass windows by artists Kenyon Cox and Margaret Kennedy. Architect: Frank Wills (English born, from New York City, helped spread the Gothic Revival in America). National Register of Historic Places.

 

Penfield-Grills House (c. 1895)

Penfield-Grills House c. 1895
221 South Main

Home of local carpenter L. H. Penfield and his family, later purchased by Charles A. Brillhart, a telegrapher for the B&O Railroad. Brillhart’s son-in-law Elver Grills, who worked for Republic Steel, and daughter Eva moved into the house in 1935; Eva lived there until 1992. The gable end has vertical wooden decorations under the cornice and a semicircular design under the peak. Above the doorway a high gabled hood is decorated with scrollwork and wood lattice; the window above it has a triangular pediment. Vernacular interpretation of Stick and Gothic Revival styles.

 

Railroad Depot (1866)

Railroad Depot 1866
240 South Main

Served as Oberlin’s passenger depot from 1866 to 1949. The first railroad line in Lorain County went through Wellington in 1849; a spur reached Oberlin in 1852. About ten years later the rail line was altered to connect Oberlin to the county seat, Elyria, cutting travel time from two hours to 20 minutes. The depot had telegraph, ticket and baggage offices and separate waiting rooms for men and women. The site is significant for its history of Oberlin's first era of rapid transportation to the world beyond the town and the state; it changed the way students and families got to Oberlin. A well proportioned building with broad bracketed eaves and board-and-batten siding. Renovated by the Nord Family Foundation for use by the community. National Register of Historic Places.

 

Oberlin Gas Lighting Company Gasholder Building (1889)

Oberlin Gas Lighting Company Gasholder Building 1889 291 South Main

Built by Albert H. Johnson, president of the Oberlin Gas Lighting Company, to store coal gas that was manufactured in an adjacent retort with a brick smokestack now demolished.  This gas was first used for lighting  (Oberlin was the first town in the area to enjoy gas-lit streets) and beating and later for cook stoves.  The company provided gas for heating until 1918, when natural gas became available, and since then the building has had various uses, primarily storage.  Planning for an Underground Railroad Center in the building began in 2005.  A surviving example of nineteenth-century functionalism, round brick with conical slate roof. National Register of Historic Places.

 

Old Water Tower (1893)

Old Water Tower 1893
Morgan

Part of Oberlin waterworks created in 1886-1893, supplied by Vermilion River. Standpipe atop the stone tower was used for water storage. Quarried sandstone laid in regular courses, with tool marks from quarrying still visible.

 

Westwood Cemetery (1864)

Westwood Cemetery 1864
429 Morgan

One of Ohio’s early landscaped cemeteries. Created to honor Civil War dead and other local citizens, famous and obscure. Six Oberlin College presidents are buried here, as are several escaped slaves. Designed by H.B. Allen, an engineer experienced in forming rural cemeteries, with curving lanes in the romantic English landscape tradition inspired by Andrew Jackson Downing.

 

Williams House (1913)

Williams-Stechow House 1913
260 Oak

Home of Samuel R. Williams, Oberlin College physics professor.  The House was sold in 1917 to Mary E. Sinclair, mathematics professor, Oberlin College graduate and first woman to earn a PhD in mathematics from the University of Chicago.  In 1944 she sold the house to Oberlin College Professor Wolfgang Stechow, a renowned scholar of Northern Baroque painting.  His wife Ursula Hoff Stechow taught French in the Oberlin public schools.  The red brick house has elements of the Prairie style in its hip roof and wide overhanging eaves with exposed rafters.

 

Cargill-Blanchard House (1905)

Cargill-Blanchard House 1905
273 Oak

Home of Maude and Wade Cargill, Oberlin College Treasurer. Built from plans by the Keith Company Architects. After 46 years Cargills sold in l952 to Gwen and Homer Blanchard, an organ maker. In 1964 the  Blanchards sold the house to the Blodgett family, who lived here for 44 years. Geoffrey Blodgett was an Oberlin College professor of American history whose published works included books and articles on Oberlin history. Jane Blodgett taught in the Oberlin public schools. Architectural features include large 1/3 over 2/3 double hung windows, leaded glass sidelights on either side of off-set front door with oval window at one side, Palladian window on second floor, two bay windows, and a broad front porch with four fluted wood columns. American four-squar Colonial Revival. Built from plans by Keith Company. Architects of Minneapoils.

 

Manning House 1906
279 Oak

Home of Oberlin College Conservatory violin professor Edward Manning, who had been a pupil of the American composer Edward MacDowell. Subsequent residents include Charles R. and Elizabeth L. Comings and their sons, associated with Comings Book Store on West College Street; professor of geology George Hubbard and his wife; their long-term boarder Herert Rugg, editor of Current Religious Thought; and William and Mary Bigglestone. He was the first archivist at Oberlin College and she taught at Prospect School. Vernacular style, wood shingles on second floor, clapboard siding on first, with full front porch with Tuscan columns.

 

Hartman-Ransom House (1847)

Hartman-Ransom House 1847
284 Oak

Probably built by Frank W. Hartman, home to Mrs. Mary C., Anna, and Bertha Ransom. Later, his home housed several professors including George Ross Wells, a professor of psychology in the 1910s, and later Professor Richard Archibald Jelliffe, head of the Oberlin College English department starting in the late 1930s. Later Russell and Hariett Renyolds moved in. Russell founded the National Association of College Stores and brought the headquarters to Oberlin, while Harriet was an active churchgoer and volunteer minister at Allen Hospital. This house was among the first, if not the first, to have manufactured siding applied over its clapboard siding, in an effort to modernize it. It was also probably the first Oberlin home to have the inappropriate manufactured siding removed as part of a 1993 major rehabilitation that returned it to closer to its original simple vernacular style appearance. Vernacular style with Colonial Revival elements, a full front porch, front door to the left.

Memorial Arch (1903)

Memorial Arch 1903
West side of Tappan Square

Construction sponsored by American Board of Foreign Missions to commemorate Oberlin missionaries and their children killed in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion. Indiana limestone embedded with polished red granite panels and discs, neo-classical design. Architect: Joseph Lyman Silsbee of Chicago. National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark.

Glider-Papworth House (1905)

Glider-Papworth House 1905
270 North Professor

Designed and built by Fred Glider, an Oberlin carpenter. His daughter, Margaret Papworth, administrative assistant in the Oberlin College Conservatory for 51 years, was born in the house and lived here all her life. House remains in its original form. Wood vernacular style. Colonial Revival, Tuscan columns, slate roof.

Jewett House (1884)

Jewett House 1884
73 South Professor

Home of Frank Fanning Jewett, Oberlin College chemistry professor and teacher of Charles Martin Hall, and his wife Frances Gulick Jewett, who wrote several books on personal and community hygiene. House now part of the Oberlin Heritage Center and open for tours. Architecture marks transition from Italianate to Queen Anne style. National Register of Historic Places.

Monroe House (1866)

Monroe House 1866
73 South Professor (rear)

First Oberlin home of General Giles Shurtleff, town’s leading Civil War hero, later a classics professor at Oberlin College. After 1870 the home of James Monroe, Oberlin College professor abolitionist, fund-raiser, orator, state representative and senator, American consul in Brazil and Congressman (1870-1880). In 1865 he married Julia Finney, daughter of Oberlin College president Charles Grandison Finney, and she lived in the house until her death in 1930. For 20 years Dr.A.C.Siddall gynecologist, had his office in the house. In 1960, to make way for a new Oberlin College Conservatory building, the house was moved 100 yards to its present location. (see Monroe-Bosworth House, 1857). House now part of the Oberlin Heritage Center and open for tours. [The Oberlin Heritage Center] has its headquarters there. Fine example of Italianate style.

Little Red Schoolhouse (1836)

Little Red Schoolhouse 1837
73 1/2 South Professor

First schoolhouse for children of Oberlin, originally built near site of First Church, later used as dwelling on South Main. Restored in 1958, moved to present site in 1997. Pioneer-era one-room school.  House now part of the Oberlin Heritage Center and open to the public for tours.

Albert Johnson House (1885)

Johnson House and Barn 1885
216 South Professor

Home of Albert H. Johnson, banker, railroad president, Oberlin’s most prominent capitalist. Now an Oberlin College dormitory. Elaborate example of Queen Anne style, with tower, bay windows, columned porch, stick work. National Register of Historic Places.

Dascomb House (1853-1854)

Dascomb House 1853-1854
227 South Professor

Home of James Dascomb, Oberlin College science professor, whose wife, Marianne Dascomb, was head of college’s women’s department. House originally stood across the street on site of Albert Johnson House. For many decades home to Oberlin College professor of English Warren Taylor and his wife Adele, leader in several community organizations. Gothic Revival style, with pointed-arch windows, bargeboards. Oberlin’s finest Gothic Revival house. National Register of Historic Places.

Prucha-Macha House

Prucha-Macha House c. 1873
288 South Professor

P.R. Tobin, harness maker, the first identified owner of this house, lived here in 1873-1874. Long-term residents were Vaclav Prucha, a tailor, and his family (1908-1942). Other residents include City Council Clerk Mary Macha, and her husband Victor (1956-1961). Classic upright and wing brick farmhouse, two-story gable entry with one-story wing; arched windows and 10-paned bay window.

Breck House (1897)

Breck House 1897
23 South Prospect

Home of F. H. Breck, manufacturer of unfermented wine.  The Reverend Nathan Wesley Grover and his wife Frances purchased the house in 1907.  Their son Frederick Grover taught botany at Oberlin College, and their daughter, Eulalie Osgood Grover was a noted author of children’s books.  Later occupants included Oberlin Conservatory Professor of Organ Frederick Stiver and Dr. L. H. Trufant, long-time family physician, president of Allen Hospital and the Lorain County Medical Society and a founding member of the Oberlin Rotary Club. Queen Anne-Colonal Revival transitional style.

Reamer Place 1908
Planned Development

In the spring of 1908, C.D. Reamer announced plans for a residential development on the western edge of town near the site of an abandoned racetrack. A former Oberlin merchant living in Tennessee, he returned to organize the venture with his son, architect Daniel A. Reamer. They envisioned a sequence of elegant homes on spacious lawns along a macadam street, with a massive stone gateway at one end, a small circular park at the other, and a delivery drive wrapped around the backdoors. It was an attractive scheme: the lots sold quickly, and the first houses went up that summer.

 

 

Savage House (1908)

Savage House 1908
310 Reamer

Home of Charles W. Savage, Oberlin College student and football player in the 1890s and later the college’s first director of athletics. He worked to make amateur competitive athletics an integral part of a college education. Purchased in 1960 by Harold Gibson, teacher in Westlake schools, and Martha Gibson, music teacher in Oberlin public schools, who lived here with their family for many years. His late stick-and-shingle Queen Anne house with flared, curved second-story shingles, designed by Cleveland architect Charles Hopkinson, was the first built on Reamer Place. Architect Stanley Mathews designed a series of fire-escape porches at the back of the house to accommodate student roomers.

Holmes House 1921
329 Reamer

Home of Oberlin College chemistry professor Harry Nicholls Holmes and his family from about 1921 to 1956. Subsequent residents include Doctors Joseph and Dorothy Luciano -- he a pediatrician at the Oberlin Clinic and she a neurophysiologist -- and in 1995 Oberlin College associate vice president David Love. A good example of four over four Colonial Revival; center door has fanlight and sidelights. 

 

 

Thompson-Fiske House (1908)

Thompson-Fiske House 1908
336 Reamer

A number of Oberlin College professors lived in this home since its construction in 1908. Early on this house belonged to George Walter Fiske, a professor of Theology and religious education in the Graduate School of Theology. He pioneered in teaching religious education and sociology as background for church social work. Later the home housed Dr. Whitelaw Morrison, a professor of hygiene and physical education. During the 1950s - 1980s Robert Dixon and his family lived here. Robert was a professor of Psychology as well as the Assistant Dean of the College.Later the home also housed executive director of Shansi Carl Jacobson.(Shansi is an Asian-American educational exchange program on the Oberlin College campus.) This is an Arts and Crafts style bungalow with broad roof extending over porch and brackets under the eaves.

 

Geiser House (1919)

Geiser House 1919
337 Reamer

Home of Professor Carl Geiser, who in 1907 was appointed the first professor of political science and chairman of that new department at Oberlin College.  He was instrumental in beginning the city manager form of government in Oberlin in 1923 and served on City Council from 1926 to 1931.  Son of German immigrants, he supported Germany in both World Wars and was awarded the Order of the German Eagle by Hitler in 1938, which intensified anti-Geiser feelings in Oberlin. He retired from Oberlin College in 1935 and continued to live in the house until his death in 1951.  His second wife, Florence, lived in the house until the 1960s.  Colonial Revival with Mediterranean-style addition.

 

347 Reamer Place

Fitch House c.1938-1939
347 Reamer

Home of Florence Mary Fitch, who became the first American woman to earn an MA and Phd in Philosophy from the University of Berlin. She acted as Dean of College and Graduate Women and also founded the "Women's League" at Oberlin. She was involved in the First Church in Oberlin, Oberlin Community Chest, Community Center, Women's Club and League of Women Voters. The house was built in the Tudor/English Revival style. 

 

Tucker House 1935
367 Reamer

One of several Oberlin houses built by John Bernard Annable. Until the late 1960s home to Oberlin College physics professor Forest G. Tucker and his family. In 1970 professor of religion H. Thomas Frank and his family moved in. Colonial Revival four over four style; porches on east and west elevations. 

 

 

 

 


Rogers House 1908
378 Reamer

Home of Oberlin College professors Charles(zoology) and Rose(German) Rogers from 1916 until 1950. Subsequent residents include Leonard C. Barr, vice president of Nelson Stud Welding Co. in Lorain and executive vice president of Gregory Industrial; and Ernie Roberts of E.H. Roberts Company. Tudor Rvival style, with simulated half-timbering. Architect: probably Daniel A. Reamer, son of the developer of Reamer Place.

 


Shipherd Circle 1950s
Planned Development

Original named College Park, Shipherd Circle was Oberlin's first post-Second-World-War planned residential development. President William E. Steveson saw an urgent need for good housing to attract and retain college faculty members in a time of postwar inflation. To help meet this need, the college acquired a large tract of land on the eastern edge of town known as the Caskey farm. The Federal Housing Authority provided a curvilinear street plan for the site, free of sidewalks in deference to the automobile. Street paving and utility costs were eased by a college loan, and half the lots marked out were reserved for sale to college faculty and staff. Construction began in 1950; the earliest houses were built on the southern arc of the circle.

 

Leduc House 1953
116 Shipherd

Home of history professor Thomas H. LeDuc and his wife Kathryn K. LeDuc, lecturer in English at Oberlin College, who lived here 40 years. Max Ratner was the architect of this Mid-century Modern house and of several other houses in Oberlin. Ratner came to Oberlin in 1947 to partner with Douglas Johnson, an architect and friend from college days. Ratner and Johnson used the term, ''Contemporary'' to describe their work. Their houses were mostly built on concrete slab, with a low roof, wide eaves and ribbon windows. The angled gable roof is the most visible feature of this L-shaped house, with rows of windows following the roofline.


Berman-Lermond House 1958
169 Shipherd

Home to viola professor William Berman and his family through 1970. Subsequent residents include Harbison Pool, employed by the local school system and Oberlin College; and Charles A. Lermond, owner of the Loom Shed weaving shop at 16 S. Main Street, and his wife Martha, secretary for the chemistry department at Oberlin College. Mid-century Modern style with one-story gabled roof that slopes down in the rear, all windows in the house are awning windows.

 

 

Wilson Evans House (1856)

Wilson Evans House 1856
33 East Vine

Home of Wilson B. Evans, African-American carpenter and cabinetmaker, participant in the Wellington Rescue, and brother‑in‑law of Lewis Leary who died at Harpers Ferry. Gathering place for African-American community and local abolitionists. Italianate style. Porch added in 1927. National Register of Histroic Places and National Historic Landmark.

 

 

Wack-Dietz House (1847)

Wack-Dietz House 1847
43 East Vine

Home of Chauncey Wack, tavern keeper and prominent Democrat, witness in trial of Wellington Rescuers. Later the home of the Dietz family. Father Peter Dietz was a famous early 20th-century “labor priest.” Greek Revival style with later Italianate wing.

 

Weltzheimer-Johnson House (1950)

Weltzheimer-Johnson House 1950
127 Woodhaven

Built for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Weltzheimer and restored in 1968 by Ellen Johnson, Oberlin College art professor. Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright, who promoted vision of modern Usonian homes built close to nature; with open family space adjacent to kitchen and fireplace; no formal dining room, garage, basement, or gutters; and little paint, plaster, or trim. This Usonian house has brick and redwood walls, flat roof, and interior long low-ceilinged bedroom corridor with unique ornamentation along clerestory and eaves. House now owned by Oberlin College, and tours are offered through the Allen Memorial Art Museum.