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Heideloff Mansion Eyed for ‘Historic Landmark’ Designation

Neighbors — not the homeowners — submit a 20-page application to make the 98-year-old home a historic landmark.

The historic and well-known Heideloff mansion at 13474 Edgewater Drive may soon become the city’s fourth-ever historic landmark.

But, it was the neighbors — not the homeowners — who proposed the idea.

The proposal must first get the green light from the city’s planning commission in two public hearings.

The designation means that the nearly 98-year-old home could never be torn down. Changes to the building’s exterior would also not be permitted.

The planning commission will hear the proposal at next Thursday’s meeting.

Under the city’s ordinance, the commission will host two hearings to determine whether the property — built by a prominent Cleveland industrialist Wilfred Sly — is eligible for the designation. 

Neighbors, Mary Breiner and Jeff Weber, submitted a 20-page application, replete with photos and a historical narrative of the property — one of the largest residential properties in the city.

The owners of the home, Michael and Stacey Semaan, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

They bought the home for $750,000 in June 2011, according to county property records.

Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, said the Semaans don’t support the proposal, making for an “unusual situation.”

“There’s an application to nominate the house and we’ll evaluate the proposal as provided under our historic preservation ordinance,” said Siley.

The previous owners of the four-bedroom, 4.5-bath home — with a soaring foyer, grand staircase, a formal dining room overlooking a reflection pond, cherry floors and a carriage house — turned the deed of the estate over to mortgage lenders after 30 years of ownership.

The 2.6-acre property was once eyed for a 14-home development, but those plans were scrapped in March 2011.

The new owners made some changes to the property, including an extensive renovation. Plans to build a second home on a second parcel, near the lake, were recently approved by the city.

Earlier this year, the Lakewood’s Planning Commission designated the 100-year-old building that once housed the a historic landmark.

However, California Phone — which owns that property — filed an appeal in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

judith szentkiralyi November 29, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Do the current homeowners plan to do an addition to the house as shown in the architects drawing, changing the front of the home? Is that why the neighbors submitted the proposal to designate an historic landmark?
karen bauman November 29, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I immediately wondered that, myself!
Colin McEwen November 29, 2012 at 05:12 PM
The homeowners have already been approved by the city to make the changes.
Charles Milsaps November 30, 2012 at 12:24 AM
A structure on the National (or State) Registry of Historic Places, may still be altered in ANY way the owner of such structure wants, Including a complete tear-down. Being on the NRHP only affords the owner of a property the eligibility to certain grants and federal tax credits. The neighbors have gone to much trouble for something that will have no effect on any alteration to this home. A good example of this was years ago when Cedar Fair, the parent company of Cedar Point Amusement Park, decided to tear down the 4 existing wings of the Breakers Hotel, ( circa 1905) and leave the center rotunda of the Hotel intact, then rebuild 4 new modern wings to better suit their guest. Because the Hotel had been altered and more than 50% of the structure had been removed, the Hotel was stripped of its Historic Status. A structure being on the NRHP, does NOT protect it from ANY alterations the owner of that structure wants and can afford to do.
r sicha November 30, 2012 at 02:40 AM
This item before the Planning Commission does NOT involve the National Register of Historic Places. It would be a designation under Chapter 1134 of the City of Lakewood Planning and Zoning Code. Colin: A couple of clarifications. Chapter 1134 does allow exterior changes through a review by the City's Architectural Board of Review (which happens with many non-designated properties and storefronts now. Also, a locally designated historic property can be demolished, but the review process is rigorous to ensure that no other alternatives exist for the building.
Colin McEwen November 30, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Thanks for clearing that up, Rick.
Colin McEwen November 30, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Ditto what Rick said. This is a Lakewood Historic Landmark — not NRHP. Thanks for posting, Charles.

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