History of the West Park
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
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The Marquard House
Front entry hall
The Marquard House ballroom
Memories of Marquard House
(at bottom of page)
The Marquard House on Warren Road
by Gary Swilik
Sitting under a canopy of shade trees at 3260 Warren Road is a big, sprawling, somewhat ramshackle structure looking almost as if time has passed it by. This white-painted, wooden residence, its central double-doorway flanked by four tall decorative columns, more closely resembles a southern plantation house than something you'd find along a busy roadway in West Park. (right. c1958) So what's the story?
Built as a moderate-sized, brick-and-frame farmhouse sometime before 1900, the place didn't develop growing pains until it was purchased by Philip H. Marquard in 1908. Father of twelve children, Mr. Marquard (left) needed lots of space and began adding rooms and wings until the house reached a mansion-like 52 rooms!
Among these was a separate suite for Mr. Marquard in the back of the house with a number of individual housekeeping units for some of his grown children and their families. A complete chapel was also incorporated into the house with the blessing of a local archbishop. When the whole house was in use the heating plant in the basement required a ton of coal per day to meet the demand!
Mr. Marquard was owner of the Marquard Sash and Door Manufacturing Company. Founded in about 1890, the company operated for many years at 14735 Lorain Avenue conveniently located just a short way south of the Marquard Home. The business specialized in producing fancy architectural millwork of all kinds and it's a safe guess we see the results in the fancy cornices, pillars, and balusters that so prominently decorate the house.
The sash and door business was secondary, however, to Mr. Marquard's passion as a builder! As founder of Marquard Home Builders, Inc., he was responsible for the construction of hundreds of homes throughout Cleveland and one of the primary developers of the early West Park neighborhood. (Click photograph to the right to enlarge image of the family posing in front of the house. c1920. Top row, from left: Cyril, Verona, Philip Henry, Olivia ("Honey"), Cleophas. Bottom, from left: Adelbert, David, Philip F., Rita, Vincent, Marcus, Francis. Photograph courtesy of Gary Marquard.)
Phil Marquard died in the house on October 14, 1942, and shortly afterwards it came into the ownership of William Bauer who rented the property to the U.S. Government. The huge home was converted into apartments for the families of war workers. By 1958 the building was a public apartment building with 11 three-room suites, 4 four-room suites, and 2 five-room suites.
Today the old Marquard house, sometimes known as the "Manor House Apartments," still offers 16 suites to the public and serves as "home" to many renters. Other reminders of prolific builder Phil Marquard stand nearby. The rectory of St. Mary's Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, the Spanish-style house just south of the church on Warren Road, was built by Phil Marquard for one of his daughters in the 1920's. And the Marquard Apartment House stands immediately northeast of the K-Mart near Lorain Avenue and West 150th.
Top row, from left: Cyril, Verona, Philip Henry, Olivia ("Honey"), Cleophas.
Bottom from left: Adelbert, David, Philip F., Rita, Vincent, Marcus, Francis.
Photograph courtesy of Gary Marquard
The Marquard House
by Thomas A. Marquard
The Marquard home at 3260 Warren Road in Cleveland was owned by my grandfather Phil H. Marquard (1868-1942). Starting around 1890 he built thousands of homes in Cleveland and the suburbs but this one was his favorite. My father, Philip F. Marquard (1908-1968) (right) and his eleven siblings, some of their children and assorted relatives, also grew up there or in one of the other three homes on the grounds.
It's nice to hear that so many West Parkers have a special affection for the old homestead. There really is quite a history within those walls and on those grounds. Not just Marquard family history but the history of all those who lived there from the time it was a simple farmhouse in the 1860s up until 2009.
There is also quite a bit of West Park community history associated with the property. The Marquard home and grounds were a natural gathering place for friends and neighbors from 1912-1943. Neighborhood parties, picnics and celebrations took place in the ballroom and on the spacious grounds which included an elaborate playground , tennis courts, bowling alley and theater. Evidently the Christmas and July 4th celebrations were spectacular! The time came when even the house wasn't large enough for some events so my grandfather teamed up with the Regnatz Family to construct a large banquet and catering hall on the property.
The Great Depression of 1929-1941 and World War II wreaked havoc on the family and the building business. Many of the sons went off to war, the youngest David was killed in action and posthumously awarded the Silver Star for gallantry. In 1942 Phil Marquard died in the house he built and loved. His funeral wake in the home's chapel brought a close to the Marquard history at 3260 Warren Road. The home was sold and converted to 16 apartments for war workers and families continued to rent there for almost the next 70 years.St. Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church now owns the property and it sits cold and empty. For the first time in almost 150 years the sounds of children and families are only echoes of the past. We hope and pray that the Church Board will vote to repair and renovate this historic structure for their use. If saved from the wrecking ball it may be possible for the Church to allow some space in the house for a West Park museum! So many people would be saddened to see it demolished and to lose yet another piece of Cleveland's storied past.
Assuming St. Mary's Board decides to restore the house, our family, of which there are hundreds in the area, along with friends, neighbors, the West Park Historical Society and, of course, the Church, will be conducting fundraisers and looking for volunteers to help in the effort. We would love to count you as one of many friends of the "Big House," as my father and his siblings usually referred to it. We are also looking for stories and old pictures of the place, so if you have any please pass them along. We already have a couple of good ghost tales!
Thanks for your interest and support! We will keep the public informed on the fate of the house and hopefully its gradual restoration.
Thomas A. Marquard
Photographs courtesy of Thomas A. Marquard
Another view of the entry hall
The Marquard House chapel
The Marquard House chapel, opposite view.
The grounds surrounding Marquard House
Interior tile floor. Photographed January 2010.
Memories of Marquard House
I read your story on the Marquard House (above) on Warren Road. I lived there for two and a half years, and it was interesting to read about its history.
Currently, the building has 18 apartments, although one is used as an “office” for Manor House.
The chapel, minus any religious artifacts, is still intact, and can only be accessed through a single apartment. Number 9 on the second floor. The chapel is on the third floor, with the only staircase located in this apartment.
The “chapel” has a low pitched roof, with long benches (with storage) that run lengthwise down the entire room. There is also a large coat closet. The room has one small window that faces north, and it gets rather warm up there in the summertime, as the ventilation is not very good.
I lived in apartment 10, which had access through French doors to the large second floor front porch. This was my favorite spot in the house. (Laura provided the photographs of apartment number 10 seen here.)
The bathroom in this apartment is huge. It was 12 feet long and almost 5 feet wide. The original mosaic tile floor, ceramic tile on the walls, tub and pedestal sink are all still intact. Interesting arches and patterned plasterwork are also in this apartment, in the kitchen area. I moved out in March of 04, and I think this apartment is still vacant.
I have been in most of the apartments, as the current owner has 75% of the building vacant. He is a little eccentric, and I had about 4 “phone interviews” before I could even come look at the apartments)
The apartments are quite chopped up, and it was quite interesting trying to figure out the original layout of this home. The old gas light jets can still be found in some of the rooms throughout the entire building. One apartment is even U-shaped.
After I moved in, my aunt stated her father used to attend dances on the third floor ballroom in the late 20’s. I confirmed that the ballroom was still there with one of the tenants that currently lives in the building.
I tried to see if I could get the current owner to shed a little “love and affection” on this old home. IE: working with community development, possible low interest loans, possibly have it listed as an historic building, but he is not particularly interested. I am hoping that someday maybe they will restore this piece of history.
If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask! --- Laura Howard
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Updated: 27 February 2015