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.
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
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."