Built in 1908, the Herschede mansion in North Avondale, Cincinnati, seeks a new steward (MLS # 1366142/$474,900). The home is a unique mixture of Greek Revival and Italian Renaissance Revival architecture, with a heavier emphasis on the later. It is rectangular in plan, featuring a symmetrical façade. Typical of Italian Renaissance, its formal design is distinguished by a rusticated ground level and quoining at the corners of the main façade. Other distinguishing features of early 20th century Italian Renaissance style include a stone division of floors by elaborate string courses, which often define the sills of windows, and windows of a different type on each floor, commonly using strongly marked vousoirs, pilasters, spandrel panels, or pediments. Most buildings of this style have balanced, low-pitched roofs, often of tile for a Mediterranean look. The home’s square-head windows are more Greek Revival in effect, not having the round arch of the Italian Renaissance. The two polished granite ionic columns flanking the main entrance are a nice Greek Revival touch.
This stately manor was designed by Cincinnati Architect S. S. Godley for Frank and Sarah Herschede–of the Herschede Hall Clock Company–and constructed of the finest materials found locally and from around the world.
The exterior walls consist of three-coursed brick clad with a five- to six-inch sandstone facade. The hand carved and sculptured sandstone is the epitome of Greek Revival and Italian Renaissance Revival architecture.
Passing through the marble-lined foyer, the interior woodwork is imported mahogany and features magnificent crown moldings, pilasters, and fireplaces with yellow sienna marble inserts in the living room and black onyx in the dining room. Craftsmen from the Herschede factory hand carved all the living room and dining room woodwork with meticulous attention to historic replication.
On the 1st floor, the grand entrance hall leads to a double-winged staircase with emerald green, leaded stained glass windows on the landing. Mahogany pocket doors separate all the rooms. There is a music room with hand-painted murals, while the dining room features hand-tooled leather panels depicting a “Horn of Plenty” motif. The dining room and living room ceilings are ornamented with massive gold leafed plaster moldings. A glass-enclosed side room, dinette/butler’s kitchen, period kitchen, back staircase, two baths, and side entrance hall complete the first floor.
On the 2nd floor are four bedrooms, a sitting room, full bath, and center hall. French doors in the front bedrooms lead to outside balconies. The 3rd floor has three bedrooms, a full bath, and features a Ballroom, which extends the full length of the house and has a barrel ceiling. The detached Carriage House has a 2nd floor apartment and five-car garage…Herschede, simply put, is pure elegance.