HQ Steven McQuillin & Associates, Building Preservation Consultants
 
Headquarters (Dover Farm) | New House at 31232 Detroit Rd | Preservation Projects | Preservation Advice
Advocacy Projects
 | Employment | Cape Hatteras Vacation Cottages for Weekly Rental | Our Team
Theatre Restoration | Tax Credit Projects | Tax Credit Rules | Newsletter | Resume | Contact Us | Home
HQ

 DOVER FARM
The headquarters of Steven McQuillin & Associates was moved to Dover Farm in 2002 when the office was established in the garage/barn addition.  The rehabilitation of the landmark house is now nearly completed. 
 

DOVER FARM

 

Ohio Historic Landmark

Historic American Buildings Survey

Rehabilitation

More Photographs

Plaque Dedication

 

 

 


 

Ohio Historic Landmark  

Historical Marker - DOVER FARMThe house now known as Dover Farm was built in 1838 for Thomas Hurst (1806 - 1861).  Hurst, who settled in Dover Township after 1830 and began a successful sheep farming operation, erected the brick house on Dover Farm as the center of a 3,500-acre farm. The first English settler in Dover Township, Hurst came from Northhamptonshire as a prosperous and experienced farmer. For years, Dover Farm was one of the largest farms in the county.  (Click the image for a larger view)

The house is a classic example of Greek Revival architecture.  The house is pictured in the 1874 atlas of Cuyahoga County (picture 6, below) and was recorded by Historic American Buildings Survey in 1936 (pictures 1 through 5).

From 1900-13 the house was the country residence of U. S. Senator Theodore E. Burton who named the house "Dover Farm."  Born in Jefferson, Ohio, Theodore E. Burton graduated from Oberlin College and became a prominent Cleveland attorney. He was elected to Congress in 1888 and served from 1889-91, 1895-1909, and 1921-28. He was elected U. S. Senator in 1908 and 1928 and was a leading contender for the U. S. Presidency in 1916.

Historical Marker - THEODORE ELIJAH BURTONDue to Burton's work in saving Niagara Falls from development and his opposition to wasteful waterway projects, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Burton chairman of the Inland Waterways Commission.  Burton is credited with pushing legislation through Congress that authorized the construction of the Panama Canal and negotiating agreements to ensure its neutrality. He lobbied to fight wasteful spending and influence of big business and sponsored the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. As president of the American Peace Society, Burton hosted the First World Conference on International Justice in Cleveland in 1928, attended by 13,000, including world leaders.

Return to topHistoric Landmark | HABS SurveyRehabilitation | More PhotosDedication

Historic American Buildings Survey

During the Depression the federal government employed out-of-work architects to record information on historic buildings in a program known as the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).  Dover Farm was singled out as one of approximately 100 historic buildings in Ohio for recordation by HABS, and photographs (shown below) were taken in 1936.  In addition, six sheets of drawings were prepared, showing the elevations, floor plans and architectural details of the house.  The photos and detail plans for the missing front entrance enabled it to be reconstructed exactly to its original form.  This data was also used to reconstruct the missing fireplace mantel in the dining room.

Click image to enlarge; a new window will open
1 2 3 4 5
Shows the front and west side, looking northeast.   The front door detail is shown.   This is the southwest parlor.   Shows the front hall and staircase.   Shows the dining room fireplace and mantel.

Captions:

  1. Shows the front and west side, looking northeast.  The small pine tree in the foreground had matured into a large old tree that died and had to be removed during the restoration project.  Note the barns behind the house -- their foundations still exist.
     

  2. The front door detail is shown.  This photo and the drawing formed the basis for rebuilding the missing door within its original masonry opening by restorer Shawn Godwin.
     

  3. This is the southwest parlor.  The room's fireplace survived and was carefully restored by Ryan Donohue, who likened his work to restoring the body of an antique car; the chimney hearth and flues were rebuilt, saving the original stonework.  The windows with their beautiful massive trim and historic wavy glass survived intact behind newer partitions and the one-story front addition.  The restoration work on the fireplace may be seen in pictures 29 and 30 in the Photo Supplement page.
     

  4. Shows the front hall and staircase.  Miraculously, the beautiful walnut staircase remained largely intact, concealed behind firewalls constructed for the nursing home.  It was carefully dismantled, refinished and restored; the second floor railing and balusters were missing and had to be reproduced by Shawn Godwin.  Please see picture 37 in the Photo Supplement page.
     

  5. Shows the dining room fireplace and mantel.  The fireplace and chimney survived in altered condition, but the mantel was missing and had to be reproduced in black walnut by carpenter Bill Parker to match the original.  Initially, the historic chimney and bakeoven beside it were carefully repaired and the tall flue above it rebuilt.  However, these proved to be unstable, cracking and leaning dangerously after a particularly strong windstorm.  The chimney then had to be demolished and rebuilt to its exact original dimensions using salvaged brickwork (pictures 18, 19, and 20, below).

Beginning as early as 1937, the house was converted into a nursing home.  Over the years, numerous alterations and additions were made to the building.  Most of the alterations were able to be removed, exposing original details and features for restoration.

Return to topHistoric Landmark | HABS SurveyRehabilitation | More PhotosDedication

Rehabilitation

When first constructed in 1838, Dover Farm was one of the largest and grandest houses in all of Cuyahoga County and stood on one of the largest farms in the county, at 3,500 acres or over five square miles.

The house was recorded in 1934 by the Historic American Buildings Survey as one of only seventy houses in Ohio to be photographed and have measured drawings prepared.  However, soon thereafter the house was converted into what would become a 45-bed nursing home, with front and side wings plus large fire escapes (see picture 7).

The house stood empty for ten years after being vacated by the nursing home.  It was slated for demolition for a cluster home development when Steven McQuillin & Associates was asked to advise on the feasibility of saving this landmark.  As an outcome of the study, the house was partitioned off on an acre lot that was acquired by Steven McQuillin in 1998.  The exterior was restored and a sympathetic garage/barn addition was made, resembling an 1874 depiction of the property (pictures 8, 9, 10, and 11).  Work on the interior is planned for completion later this year, with the offices for the firm located in an addition that resembles the original barn that was at the site.  This addition re-uses old beams from the barn, found while demolishing an addition to the house that utilized the beams when the barn was torn down.

Click an image for a larger view.

6   7   8
House as pictured in 1874 atlas of Cuyahoga County.   Last used as a nursing home ten years earlier.   Early stage of rehabilitation.
The house as pictured in the 1874 atlas of Cuyahoga County.
  
 
The appearance before work began.  Last used as a nursing home.
 
The house at an early stage of rehabilitation.
9   10   11
Exterior restored to original.   An attached building resembles the original barn.   First phase of rehabilitation nearly complete.
The exterior has been restored.
 
An attached building resembles the original barn.
 
The first phase of the rehabilitation is nearly complete.

Picture 12 shows the back of the house before the start of the rehabilitation work.  One of the outside stairways installed by the nursing home can be seen.  The remaining pictures were taken at various times during the process.  At one time the main chimney from the kitchen fireplace and oven developed a large crack from the effects of a severe storm (picture 15).  This required the emergency dismantling of the chimney (picture 16) before more severe damage occurred.  The effects of fill work and landscaping, as well as progress on the house itself, are shown in picture 17.

12   13   14
A view from the back before rehabilitation work began.   Garage/barn addition in progress. Putting in the rock fill was a job!   One of the outside walls had to be removed and rebuilt.
A view from the back before rehabilitation  work began.
 
Garage/barn addition in progress.  Putting in the rock fill was a job!
 
One of the outside walls had to be removed and rebuilt.
15   16   17
The big chimney was damaged during a severe storm.   The chimney was dismantled brick-by-brick and re-built.   Things are beginning to look better!
The big chimney was damaged during a  severe storm.
 
The chimney was dismantled brick-by-brick and rebuilt.
 
Things are beginning to look better!

One of the major projects was the work done on chimneys and fireplaces.  Pictures 18, 19, and 20 illustrate the restoration of the dining room fireplace so that it looks as it did originally.  This fireplace/oven is served by the large, freestanding chimney that nearly collapsed and had to be rebuilt.

Picture 18 shows the original chimney and fireplace before restoration work began on it.  In picture 19 the mason is building back the fireplace to its historic dimensions using red firebricks that match the original bricks, which were too soft and crumbly to reuse.   Picture 20 shows the finished product with its walnut mantel reconstructed.  It looks as it did originally, and the fireplace and masonry bake oven are fully functional.

18   19   20
The original chimney and fireplace is a massive structure with a masonry bake oven to the right.   The fireplace is being rebuilt to historic size. Bricks match the original, which were too soft and crumbly.   The dining room fireplace looks as it did originally, and the fireplace and oven are fully functional.
The original chimney and fireplace is a massive structure with a masonry bake oven to the right.
 
The fireplace is being rebuilt to historic size.  Bricks match the original, which were too soft and crumbly. 
 
The dining room fireplace looks as it did originally, and the fireplace and oven are fully functional.

Return to topHistoric Landmark | HABS SurveyRehabilitation | More PhotosDedication


More Photographs

Please go to the Photo Supplement page for more photographs related to the Dover Farm rehabilitation project.

Plaque Dedication

"President Theodore Roosevelt"In October, 2002, dedication ceremonies were held to mark the installation of the Ohio Bicentennial Plaque for Dover Farm.  The keynote speaker was "President Theodore Roosevelt" (aka Skip Corrus) who recalled the work of a prominent resident, U. S. Senator Theodore Burton.  "Teddy" lauded Sen. Burton's work in getting legislation through Congress authorizing construction of the Panama Canal, as well as Burton's assistance in other projects favored by TR.

Also participating in the ceremony were George Siekkinen, senior staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Kristina Markel from the Ohio Historical Society's Local History Office.

 

Return to top



Headquarters (Dover Farm) | New House at 31232 Detroit Rd | Preservation Projects | Preservation Advice
Advocacy Projects | Employment | Cape Hatteras Vacation Cottages for Weekly Rental | Our Team
Theatre Restoration | Tax Credit Projects | Tax Credit Rules | Newsletter | Resume | Contact Us | Home