Downtown, History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The May Building

25 Jun , 2017  

By the time that the May Building was constructed on the southeast corner of South Main and South Park Streets, facing Central Park, the name “May” had been known by Mansfielders for some 90 years. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Richland Trust Building

11 Jun , 2017  

It was undoubtedly an interesting time for Directors of the new Richland Trust Company when, on November 2, 1929, they opened their monumental eight-story headquarters at the corner of North Main and Park Avenue West. Just the week before, the infamous Black Tuesday had seen the New York Stock Exchange lose 12% of its value in one day.

In Mansfield, however, the same period saw the completion of a nine-month project to give a newly merged bank a glistening new building. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Upson House

3 Jun , 2017  

The imposing brick house at 234 Park Avenue West once belonged to an imposing coal man.

His name was Charles William Upson. Upson, who was born in Tallmadge in 1855, came to Mansfield shortly after his 1879 graduation from Cornell University. A shrewd businessman, he joined with his brother and formed the Upson Brothers Coal Company. Coal remained his life for some 40 years. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Silas M. Douglas House

12 May , 2017  

This stately home on Park Avenue West was built by a man with a sterling reputation in the community.

His name was Silas Marion Douglas, but around Mansfield he was commonly referred to as “Judge Douglas.” He was born in January, 1853 in Monroe Township, Richland County, and was a graduate of both Heidelberg College in Tiffin and the Cincinnati Law College. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Mansfield’s Carnegie Library Building

25 Apr , 2017  

At some date in late 1907, a Mansfield woman boarded a train and headed to New York City. Armed with determination and expressions of commitment from civic leaders, her intent was clear – she wanted to secure a grant from noted industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for a library building in Mansfield. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Park Avenue Baptist Church

2 Apr , 2017  

When it was finished in 1929, the Park Avenue Baptist Church building was referred to as “one of the most beautiful churches in Ohio.”

Still standing at 296 Park Avenue West and now home to a Christian congregation known as MOSAIC, the structure has long been unique to the community. When it was built, it housed the only local Baptist church; it also reflected an architectural style which was not seen in other Mansfield religious buildings before or since. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Robert Sandiford House

21 Mar , 2017  

It is altogether fitting that the house at 544 Park Avenue West is painted in several hues. After all, in its day the house was home to a man whose business regularly dealt with colorful things.

Robert Sandiford was known in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a a master florist and horticulturalist. A native of London, England, Sandiford lived in both Canada and Cleveland before reaching Mansfield about 1870. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: 331 Prescott Street

12 Mar , 2017  

It’s a property that was nearly lost to history several years ago, and one which still seeks a more certain future.

The brick house at 331 Prescott Street, which sits on a rise of land not far from Oak Hill Cottage, has ties to Mansfield’s industrial past. It was built in the last years of the Civil War by Henry D. Keith, and then purchased by local civic leader Joseph Allonas a few years later. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Kern House

30 Jan , 2017  

Prolific architect Vernon Redding, who was undoubtedly the busiest Mansfield architect in the early decades of the 20th century, designed many of the local landmarks we have profiled in this series. He was also extremely versatile, as evidenced by the wide variety of styles in which he designed residences, commercial buildings, schools, and churches.

Late in the first decade of the 1900s, Redding became interested in the new Prairie School style of architecture, a movement born in the Midwest and whose most famous proponent was Frank Lloyd Wright. The Prairie Style emphasized horizontal lines, with residences featuring “…horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament” according to Wikipedia.

In 1910, Redding was commissioned to design a house for Rufus Avery Kern. What resulted is one of the area’s best examples of Prairie School architecture and a true local landmark on Park Avenue West. More…

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All About Mansfield, History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Central United Methodist Church

24 Sep , 2016  

The former Central United Methodist Church on Park Avenue West, now the Bethesda Fellowship Ministry Center, was dedicated on August 21, 1911.

It was designed by Vernon Redding, Mansfield’s best known and most prolific architect of his era, who was also the architect for the Leland Hotel and Carnegie Library building. Because of its heavy stone massing, it has been described as being of the Richardson Romanesque style, but its sloping roof with exposed truss ends, as well as its date of construction, suggests Arts and Crafts influences as well. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Martin Bushnell House

22 Sep , 2016  

With this post, 1812Blockhouse begins a series of looks at individual pieces of historic architecture in Mansfield and the surrounding area. The past of a community can contribute to a sense of place which, in turn, can fuel both economic development and a high quality of life.

We begin with the Martin Bushnell House, located at 34 Sturges Avenue, just south of Park Avenue West.

bushhouse2This magnificent house was built in 1892. Constructed entirely of stone, the Bushnell House exhibits the wide variety characteristic of the Queen Anne style of architecture, combined with the massive, thick building elements suggesting the Richardson Romanesque style. More…