The Sarah Benedict House and Garden

From Library to Restoration Society

When the Cleveland Restoration Society received the Benedict House, its condition had severely deteriorated to the point that most thought it should be demolished. CRS, with the help of Gaede Serne Architects and the R.W. Clark Company, restored the structure by giving it a new slate roof, cleaning and repairing the masonry and refinishing the interior.

With a $1.175 million budget, the building was carefully restored and rehabilitated in accordance with nationally accepted preservation standards and practices. Volunteers reconstructed the front porch, restored windows, and installed an elevator and new electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems. They also stripped, stained and varnished interior woodwork, repaired plaster walls, refinished floors, and reproduced missing fixtures and wallpapers to further reflect the authenticity of the period.

Once the infrastructure of its interior was restored, Benedict House space was sensitively adapted for office use. CRS revamped the formal rooms of the first floor to serve as meeting space for its staff and to host functions. The second floor bedrooms (and one tiled bathroom) were reconfigured to serve as staff offices. The third floor also was renovated into office space (now leased by the Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition and Live CLEVELAND!). The once dark and dingy Victorian basement is now office space. In June 2003, CRS opened a public garden adjacent to the house to honor the many volunteers who contributed their time and talents to the home's restoration.

Tours of the building's interior are by appointment only and are free to CRS members.


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