History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Entrance To South Park

1 Oct , 2017  

The stately columned entrance to South Park tells two stories.

First is the love that late nineteenth and early twentieth century Mansfielders obviously had for parks and nature. After the Civil War, local citizens, like their counterparts across the country, sought respite from the grit and grime of city streets in bucolic settings. Before 1890, the city was benefited through the donation farmland for the purpose of establishing a municipal park. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Fraser House

24 Sep , 2017  

On a fall evening in 2016, the setting sun cast a golden glow on western facing buildings in Mansfield. Included among those was the Alexander Fraser House, sitting as it does on a rise on Park Avenue West overlooking the entrance to South Park (see photo above).

Fraser was the owner of a granite manufacturer and wholesaler which bore his name. Before building the Park Avenue West house, the family resided at 202 South Diamond Street. He was born about 1860 in Kincardinshire, Scotland, and learned the granite and marble business in Aberdeen. Fraser then emigrated to the United States about 1889 with his wife, Maria. More…

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Downtown, History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Fifth And Walnut

6 Sep , 2017  

The vintage brick residence in downtown Mansfield is officially known as 159 North Walnut Street. Many locals, however, know it as the house at “The Corner of Fifth and Walnut,” the name of author M. Eileen Levinson’s autobiographical work profiling her childhood there in the 1920s and 1930s. More…

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Downtown, History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Vasbinder Fountain

12 Aug , 2017  

It sits now as it originally did, anchoring Central Park and providing a pleasant oasis of sight and sound.

The Vasbinder Fountain is certainly a Mansfield landmark of the first order. Dedicated on July 4, 1881, it was removed in the late 1950s during the creation of the then-controversial Park Avenue cut-through, and after storage and a temporary placement at Malabar Farm, it was returned to Central Park in 1979.

As a commemorative plate shares, the fountain was donated by David and Jane Vasbinder. More…

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: 188 South Diamond Street

20 Jul , 2017  

The brick house at 188 South Diamond Street, which occupies the northwest corner of Diamond and Flint Streets, is an important survivor in a neighborhood which has lost much of its historic fabric.

It is also a structure closely tied to an important figure in Mansfield’s architectural history. 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 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: 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 Richland, 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…