ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Architecture of The Western Reserve

Updated on May 11, 2016
Western Reserve Architecture
Western Reserve Architecture | Source

It seems that at almost any architectural review board meeting throughout northeastern Ohio, one is likely to hear some voices clamoring for 'distinctive Western Reserve architectural styling'. But, if one were to research the vast archives of architectural literature available around the globe, one would discover that references to any such architectural style are exceedingly few (except perhaps in rickzworld).

Author Richard Campen's 1971 tome, Architecture of the Western Reserve, 1800-1900, published by the Press of Case Western Reserve University may be the sole extant book that offers a survey of the key stylistic elements. It may also be the only source that identifies 'Western Reserve Architecture' as its own particular style.

The style began in the decades following the American Revolutionary War. In payment of colonial debts accrued by the fledgling Federal government of the United States in fighting the War of Independence, frontier land was ceded to the State of Connecticut — lands that followed that colony's latitudes far into the western wilderness of North America. Those lands were known as the 'Western Reserve' of Connecticut. Though those countless acres of wilderness eventually became the northeastern part of the current State of Ohio, they have retained until this day their historical identity as part of the Western Reserve. Such Ohio institutions as Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, among many others, still carry remnants of that identity.

As befitting new lands allocated in Colonial times, the architecture of the Western Reserve is a unique blend of many Colonial influences, drawing elements from such prevalent architectural styles of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries as Georgian, Queen Anne, Greek Revival and Federal. Stolid and spare brick construction was employed for many important and public structures, punctuated by white or off-white framed windows, and sparely decorated with stone accents: columns, courses, capitals, brackets, lintels and such. In the large and grander structures, formal balustrades would appear, as would domes, friezes, spires, colonnades, pediments and other elements of ornately carved stone.

More mundane structures — houses, barns, shops, markets, factories — could be crude log cabins, sheds of rough-sawn timber, or more sophisticated timber-framed 'balloon' structures clad in lap siding and painted white or a variety of subdued colors. Forms of most structures were simple rectangular solids of long low horizontal mass, with single-sloped shed-style or gabled roofs, clad in shingles. Double-hung '4 over 4' or '6 over 6' paned windows were most common, as were simple plank or paneled wood doors. Chimneys and fire walls of stone or brick often anchored structures.

Historic Dunham Tavern, one of the oldest Western Reserve structures in Cleveland
Historic Dunham Tavern, one of the oldest Western Reserve structures in Cleveland | Source
The Strong House, Strongsville, Ohio
The Strong House, Strongsville, Ohio | Source
Georgian influences, Delaware, Ohio
Georgian influences, Delaware, Ohio | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • David J Gill profile image

      David J Gill 

      6 years ago from Oakland, California

      To Rick Zimmerman...

      You should look up the work Jonathan Goldsmith, the super star architect / master building of the Western Reserve. A magnificent house that he designed and built is at the Hale Farm & Village in Bath, Ohio. There good pictures of that house and a few others at

    • mattdigiulio profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hey, nicely done! Voting up.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)