History is not just one moment, but a series of significant moments or a collection of events. Each has a unique beginning,and ours starts here.
The Glidden House was commissioned by Francis Kavanaugh Glidden (Frank to those who knew him) and his wife Mary in 1910. Frank was the eldest son of Francis Harrigton Glidden, the famous Clevelander and founder of The Glidden Paint Company. This historical home was Frank and Mary’s private family residence.
The Glidden House was designed by reputable Cleveland architect Edward Hughes Glidden, a cousin of Francis Harrington. This was one of three homes the Glidden’s kept in addition to a winter home in Palm Beach Florida and a summer farm in Rock Tavern New York.During the time the home was built, Cleveland was bustling with the activity of the families of American Industry such as John D. Rockefeller who had a residence on Euclid Avenue (also known as Millionaires’ Row.) Frank and Mary preferred a more residential feel and built in a newly developing neighborhood. While the property was technically situated on Ford Drive, Mrs. Glidden insisted on having the more prestigious Magnolia Lane address and added a second door to the front of the home making the address 1733 Magnolia Lane.
The home’s corner plot was in the Wade Allotment, and provided front-row seats to the growth of the University Circle neighborhood. Word-class cultural institutions like the Cleveland Museum of Art and Severance Hall opened around them. Beacons of education such as Western Reserve University and the Case Institute of Technology evolved to become Case Western Reserve University. Frank and Mary supported many of these places as members, donors, and patrons. Frank and Mary lived in their home with their daughter Ida and it remained in her care until she passed away. For a time it became the home of the psychology department for CWRU before becoming a hotel. The Glidden House is on the National Register of Historic places, and the original mansion home maintains most of its historic features including the library, parlor, and loggia to be exact. We serve breakfast in these spaces now, but they have the same meaningful symbols and historic charm as they once did. Frank was an avid reader and the custom bookcases in the library symbolizes the mantra “Knowledge over time.” In the parlor, look up and notice the Glidden “G” emblazoned on the beams. The loggia was an open air space until glass panes were added in the 1930’s. These details and symbols don’t just appear inside the home You can find fire resisting salamanders,family crests, green men, and grotesques outside which have survived for over 100 years. Attention to detail, isn’t simply part of our past, we bring it to life every day.
As we continue to collect history about the family and guests who have visited and lived at the Glidden House, there are many more stories to tell. We invite you to come be a part of history in the making.