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    House History

"Walking Back Through Time."


 House History

Our house, 2641 Highland Avenue, was built in 1885 in a Classic Cincinnati Victorian style. We are only the 5th owners in 116 years. Dr. Ziegler owned the house for a part of its history and kept it up well during his tenure. Rosemary Ziegler's name is still in cement at the back of the house. Two pediatricians, husband and wife, purchased the building and added a half bath on the first floor in the 1950's. The home was then broken into a multi-family dwelling, as happens with so many of our precious old Victorians. During this time, the house was fortunate to be blessed with the occupancy of Suzanne Farrell, one of the world's great Prima Ballerinas. It was in this house as a young girl she "danced through the archways" as the one hour PBS  Television Special described her time here. The house was then located directly across from the Conservatory of Music. (Sadly the Conservatory has since been torn down.) According to the PBS Special, Susanne Farrell's mother took her and her 2 sisters directly from our house to New York City, NY to continue her studies before entering the famous New York City Ballet under the direction of their world famous director, George Balanchine. One of our neighbors continues to keep  in touch with with Ms. Farrell.  Ms. Farrell is now retired. We would like to invite her for a visit. 

We have inquired and had several notations from architects about this Victorian structure and have a " National Historic Register" application and have begun researching. The local architects find the house of merit as well as the fact that there is a sister house next door which they feel would also be eligible. Three of the six fireplaces are still with a beautiful original finish. The entire entry, nook and staircase are original as are the Second Street Studio designed the five cut glass windows around the front door in 1884-85.

One of the more recent owners had both the windows and front staircase boarded up for 25 years - resulting in a preservation goldmine they couldn't have foreseen..  We have researched the carvings on both the stair case and fireplaces. They were done by a well know University of Cincinnati Professor of Art, Dr. Frye. The hand painted tiles surrounding the front entry fireplace are signed by the artist, Burgess.   We have been  researching the last several years trying to find the history of this artesian. The inset tiles around the fireplaces are probably from the Rookwood Pottery.  We have been involved in extensive renovation and have kept the facility in an historically correct manner as well as brought back some areas to their original state. We have preserved the log cabin style floors throughout. 

To date, we have been unable to locate original blueprints or pictures of either the interior or exterior of the house. In researching the exterior colours of our home, we have been led to believe they are still the same colour as they were in 1885. Our neighbor, who has lived here 60 years, says the current colours on the house are the only ones she can ever remember the house being painted.

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