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The Glidden House, Cleveland, Ohio

Updated on June 8, 2010
The Glidden House, Cleveland, Ohio
The Glidden House, Cleveland, Ohio

The Glidden House is one of the few remaining glorious mansions of turn-of-the-Century Cleveland. This French Gothic structure — with carriage house, gazebo, tropical garden patio, elegant grounds, fine interior woodwork and sculpted plaster ceilings — was built by Francis C. Glidden, son of Glidden Paint Company founder Francis H. Glidden.

Born in Newcastle, Maine, in 1832, Francis H. Glidden had spent his early years ranging from Maine to Alabama as a dry goods clerk, mariner, steamboat purser, and Confederate seaman, before signing on as a varnish salesman in 1866. Within the following decade, he had secured some partners, founding a new varnish company under the name of Glidden, Brackett & Co. By the beginning of the 20th Century, the company had prospered mightily, adding color products to its lines, and erecting a large manufacturing plant in Lakewood, Ohio.

In 1910, the then-wealthy senior Mr. Glidden erected a fine new mansion, which he dubbed ‘Inglewood’, in Lakewood’s Clifton Park area. That same year, his son, Francis C. Glidden, built what was to become The Glidden House on Ford Drive. The Glidden House was thence occupied continuously by Glidden Family members through 1953.

Located within the campus of Case Western Reserve University in the University Circle area of the city’s East Side, this fine structure is now a 60-room boutique hotel providing accommodations to visitors to the University and the many neighboring arts and cultural institutions. Each of the hotels traditional hotel suites is named for a member of the Glidden family. Sergio’s, a restaurant serving seafood and a Mediterranean cuisine, occupies the home’s former carriage house, while the residence’s original parlor is employed for a breakfast buffet in the European tradition.

The hotel hosts a variety of seasonal accommodation and tour packages, including ones affiliated with the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s RIPE Food & garden Festival, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland Play House, and the Tour de Circle program. The Glidden House is situated at 1901 Ford Drive, opposite several of the University’s newer business school buildings.

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