On Friday, March 22nd, Roundwood Manor at Daisy Hill Farm, was entered into the National Register of Historic Places. Roundwood Manor is the first property in Hunting Valley, Ohio, to be listed in the National Register.
Roundwood Manor was the country estate and business center of Oris and Mantis Van Sweringen. Subsequent owners were also influential business executives who helped shape Cleveland. The Van Sweringen brothers were visionaries during Cleveland’s greatest period of economic expansion. The “Vans,” as they were known, developed Shaker Heights as a “garden suburb” of Cleveland. They created the Shaker Square shopping area as an elegant gateway to Shaker Heights. Perhaps their greatest achievement was the development of the Terminal Tower complex on Cleveland’s Public Square and the acquisition of several railroads as investments that also supported their property developments.
The Vans’ favorite architect was Philip Small, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s prestigious architectural school. Small was tasked with numerous important commissions, including Shaker Heights demonstration homes, Shaker Square and Moreland Courts. Small was the architect of Roundwood Manor. He designed Roundwood Manor in the Colonial Revival architectural style of which he was considered a master.
Landscape architect A. D. Taylor was retained to create a gentleman’s estate out of the 660 acres of Daisy Hill Farm. A. D. Taylor was a leading figure in landscape architecture in the early 20th century with large commissions for public parks (Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and Cincinnati) and at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
It is our position and that of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that Roundwood Manor can be converted to condominiums without sacrificing its historic integrity. Indeed, adaptive use of “white elephant” properties such as Roundwood offer solutions to their long-term economic viability.