Cleveland Ohio has long been noted for the unique architecture of its older buildings and bridge structures. The Cleveland Public Library Special Collections Department was fortuitous enough to receive a donation of works of one of the architects responsible for many of the more noted historical buildings and bridges, Charles Freidrich Schweinfurth.
Charles Schweinfurth was born in 1856 in Auburn, New York to Charles J. and Katharine (Ammon) Schweinfurth. After Schweinfurth graduated from high school in 1872, Schweinfurth worked at architectural offices in New York City before relocating to Cleveland as the architect of Sylvester T. Everett’s Euclid Avenue mansion. By 1910, Schweinfurth had completed at least fifteen residential designs for clients on Euclid Avenue’s “Millionaires’ Row”. Schweinfurth also remodeled the interiors of the Old Stone Church and the Calvary Presbyterian Church, as well as the Trinity Cathedral and Parish House. The four landmark stone bridges crossing Martin Luther King Boulevard are also Schweinfurth designs. Schweinfurth is also known for the house he designed which served as his residence from 1894 until his death in 1919. The Schweinfurth House, which is the focus of CPL’s “Schweinfurth House Collection,” is located on East 75th Street and has served as both a residence and a funeral home until it was declared a Historical Architectural Landmark in 1974 by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission.
“The Schweinfurth House Collection” consists of photographs, plans, blueprints, and drawings produced by Schweinfurth from 1872-1919, as well as photographs, newspaper clippings, and documents relating to the house collected or produced by former owner, Richard Van Petten. An electronic finding aid is available through the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository while the collection itself is available for research in the John G. White Special Collections Department on the third floor of the main building.