Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mentor's Wheeler House Being Torn Down

The Wheeler House (8420 Mentor Avenue) is in the process of being torn down by developer Richard Osborne. According to the book “Mentor The First 200 Years,” the house was built circa 1855, of Italianate style, two stories, with a flat hip roof with bracketed cornice and porch roof.

The building had been a dentist office (I think since the early 1960s), and according to the Lake County Auditor’s web site, was purchased by Osborne on May 21, 2007, for $320,000.

The Lake County News Herald reported today that Osborne “does not have anything planned for the site yet” and said that Osborne indicated that the house wasn’t in good shape structurally. I had been in that house about one year ago, and it seemed fine to me, especially the large, airy addition that had been constructed for the dental office years before. (This addition is what you see as demolished in the photo.)

It is a shame that this building could not be saved or relocated. Mentor has not been kind to its old buildings over the years, and seems to allow some structures to be built, or remain, that have questionable aesthetic value.

What I don’t get is the web site for the Lawnfield Inn and Suites, directly next door to this building, bills itself as “located in the heart of Mentor's Historic District.” In fact, I thought within the last year or so, voters agreed to designate the area as historic so Mr. Osborne could proceed with development of the Center Street School (on the National Register of Historic Places), virtually a stone’s throw from the Wheeler House. Yet, according to the News Herald, Mentor Development Director Ronald Traub said there was nothing they could do to prevent it from being torn down. So is this a historic district or not – and does that designation really mean anything?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
love your pics of mentor looking for someone just gonna ask if you know him or of him Jeffery Shelden of Mentor Ohio?

any info would be a great help!
thank u
email me at: