Fairhill Development was built on a rock
dump in Ambler Park which was created in 1915 as a result of the excavation
for Fairmount Reservoir. The contractor was to clean up the dump but went
bankrupt. The development was designed in an English Cotswold style to
resemble an English hamlet. Varied details were important in conveying
this sense of the English hamlet. The variety of window treatments include
box bay windows, diamond shaped pane windows and casement windows. Pointed
arch windows are found in gables. Chimneys are placed in the center of
the single units. Chimneys are placed at the ends of the double units.
There are a variety of gables which vary in size and treatment.
Buildings in the development maintain an integrity of scale, setback
and building materials that date to its date of origin. One building,
12501 Fairhill, would be considered an intrusion because of its 1971 construction
date. This contemporary structure does respect the scale, massing, and
setback of the older buildings in the development.
The units are:
· 12309 Fairhill, one family unit, built c. 1930. Architect unknown.
· 12321-5 Fairhill, two family unit, built 1929. Architect unknown.
· 12329-12403 Fairhill, two family unit, built in 1930. Architect:
H.O. Fullerton, cost $20,000.
· 12407-12411 Fairhill, two family unit, built 1930. Architect:
H.O. Fullerton, cost $35,000.
· 12415-12419 Fairhill, two family unit, built c. 1930. Architect
· 12425-12427 Fairhill, two family unit, built c. 1930. Architect
· 12501 Fairhill, one family unit, built 1971. Architect: Harlan
E. Sherman, cost $150,000. This is a non-contributing building because
of its recent construction. The stuoccoed exterior wall treatment is not
consistent with the other buildings in the complex.
· 12511 Fairhill, built c. 1936. Architect unknown.
Original plans called for moving people from Cleveland’s Hessler
Road neighborhood to Fairhill, according to an article in the April 1929
issue of Architectural Exhibitor. The purpose of the development was to
keep people with kindered tastes together. This group of people included
artists, interior decorators, architects, musicians and writers. City
directories indicate that this did not occur; the original Fairhill residents
came from several different Eastside neighborhoods.
The landscaping for Fairhill Road Village was planned A. Donald Gray,
who had been associated with Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects early
in his career. At the time Olmsted Brothers were reputed to be the finest
landscape architects in the country. Gray is best known for landscaping
the Horticultural Gardens at the Great Lakes Exposition (1936-37), some
of the cultural gardens (1916-1939), and Forest Hills Subdivision (1925),
Mr. Gray’s clients included Leonard Hanna, H.M. Hanna Jr., Charles
Brush, the Sleepy Hollow Country Club, Cleveland Clinic, and the Public
Auditorium for the city of Cleveland. Fairhill Village landscaping took
advantage of a flat irregular site overlooking Ambler Park Ravine. The
densely wooded ravine provides direct access to nature from the back of
the units. Patios and living rooms to the rear of the units were planned
to take advantage of this natural feature. Landscaping, plantings, trees,
and shrubs were kept to evergreens abutting the buildings. Plantings are
also used to provide a sense of privacy by screening patios.
Architect Antonio DiNardo designed the original concept of Fairhill Village.
DiNardo had worked in the office of Paul Cret and later Arnold Brunner,
architect of the old Federal Building in Cleveland. Upon arriving in Cleveland
in 1921 he worked in the office of Hubbel and Benes, where he designed
the Pearl Street Bank. In business by himself he designed St. Augustine
Academy in Lakewood, St. Margaret of Hungary on Buckeye Road in Cleveland,
St. Augustine Church in Baberton, and St. Cecilia Church in Detroit. Originally
part of the group that planned Fairhill Village, DiNardo resigned in July
1929. He was replaced by architect Harold O. Fullerton.
Landscape architect A. Donald Gray and architect Harold O. Fullerton
were early residents of the village. Rowena and Russell Jelliffe, founders
of Karamu House (a settlement house nationally known for its dedication
to inter-racial theatre) were also residents of the village. Other prominent
residents of Fairhill were: Newton D. Baker III, son of the Mayor of Cleveland;
Avery Sterner, Secretary-Treasurer of Speed Kind Cordless Iron; Jon T.
Stever, President of S.K. Wellman Company.