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Issue Date: April 2003 Issue


Where the Wild Homes Are


Dian DiPiero

To the Manor Born

Calvin Coolidge ate here, Lionel Hampton played here and some of the area's best design work lives on here.

Owner : Ted & Sally Smith
City : Cleveland Heights
Built : 1912
Purchased by Current Owner : 1995
Extremity Factor : 7

Frederick W. Striebinger was the first Cleveland-born architect to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the premier school of architecture in the early 1900s. When he returned from his schooling, he was eager to build homes inspired by what he had learned.

Beaulieu, also known as the Tremaine-Gallagher House, stands in Cleveland Heights as the finest example of Striebinger's work. The symmetrical house features classical features such as a flat roof and three archways opening onto the front porch. Inside, a grand Roman-style center hall serves as the pathway to rooms resplendent with architectural detail. Thickly carved plasterwork and dark paneling bespeak Jacobean style in the living room. Elaborate Adam-style plasterwork and a stained-glass oval skylight that can glow in different colors with the flip of a switch distinguish the dining room. Beyond these rooms lie an Egyptian sleeping room, an Art Nouveau bedroom and an early Renaissance billiard room.

Original owner Henry Tremaine, an innovative businessman who devised much of the lighting, sold the house to Michael Gallagher in 1917, after Tremaine's wife died from a fall down the elevator shaft. During its storied early history, Beaulieu hosted politicians, dignitaries and entertainers.

Fast-forward to the 1990s. Ted and Sally Smith and their eight children begin searching for a larger home in Cleveland Heights. They drive past Beaulieu. Sally is thrown off by a pair of sphinxes flanking the patio, but Ted insists they should look inside. When they do, Sally falls in love with the house. "I said, ‘Hey, I could live here,' " recalls Sally, an art historian.

With the help of Cleveland Heights contractor Tom Kofron, the Smiths redid the kitchen so it better fits the house's varied styles and created a Victorian-style bar in the basement. Cleveland Heights landscape designer Ann Rosmarin fashioned formal gardens using plants and shrubs that offer year-round beauty.

Family members gather in the living room every evening to talk. On birthdays, each child gets to choose the color in the skylight in the dining room. Ted and Sally witnessed their daughter's wedding in the back yard in 1999 and, just a few weeks later, counted their blessings when the family survived a fire in one wing of the house.

The Smiths kept the sphinxes out front and added a pair of cannons, from which Ted occasionally shoots Styrofoam cannonballs. "There is a Gatsbyesque quality to the house," says Sally. "But I see it as a wonderful work of architecture that needs to be shared."

Comments:
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:23:13 PM by Anonymous
Beaulieu turns 100 this year, 2012! We sold the house to Ted and Sally Smith in 1995 as Kellie was finishing a radiology residency and fellowship in Cleveland. We were returning to West Virginia so that she could join the staff of the clinic at The Greenbrier Resort. It was difficult to leave Beaulieu. It is a special work of art. No matter what direction one may look in that spacious masterpiece there is something beautiful to see. We feel honored to have owned Beaulieu for a while and we loved living there. It was like living at a resort. And we adored fabulous Cleveland, a city we think underappreciated. There are far too many interesting historic anecdotes to detail here, but one favorite I will share concerns the huge, classical oil paintings that are permanently framed and mounted on the dining room walls. They came from Paris and when General Pershing, America's top Army commander in the First World War, dined at Beaulieu he was quite taken by them. He soon had them copied for his residence in VA. Known to be a perfectionist, Pershing had the copies created by the same studio in Paris that created the paintings for Beaulieu. That way he could assure that they were correctly executed. We always considered that a quite nice compliment to both Beaulieu's first owners and to the home's architect.
Dan and Kellie Gooding, Lewisburg, WV, Beauieu's fifth owners
Sunday, November 11, 2012 7:59:59 PM by Mike Tewksbury Jr.
As a child I played on the lions with my cousin. My grandparents were the Gallagher's. I fondly remember the push button light switches which my brother and I tried to wear out! Our family owned the Midland Steamship Company and named a ship after Michael Gallagher. I vaguely remember him being maybe 4 or 5 years old at that time.

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