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Cool Spaces: Painesville home built in 1890 is well-preserved: photos, video

February 28, 2018 GMT

Cool Spaces: Painesville home built in 1890 is well-preserved: photos, video

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - - Time has been kind to Kathleen Cotter’s 1890s home in Painesville.

The years haven’t dimmed the brilliant, original stained glass windows, nor chipped away at the beveled glass.

Natural wood - from the floors to the split-level staircase, to the pocket doors and built-in bookcases - retains its rich, natural glow. Six fireplaces, these days just for show, are unblemished.

And in this architectural renovation era of knocking down walls to create large, open space, the first floor of the home remains sectioned into separate, parlor-like rooms that nod to a time when families cooked in one room, dined in another, curled up with a book in yet another, and so on.

“I like sharing a space where people lived in the 1890s,” says Cotter, co-owner of the home with two siblings, who live elsewhere. “It just feels good to be here.”

Cotter came full circle to live in her three-story, red brick and green-shingled home, with its white wrap-around porch. Her parents, Thomas and Margaret, bought the home in 1955, making them the third owners. Kathleen was a teen and a student at Riverside High School at the time.

The previous owners bought the home from the original family, the Collacotts. The patriarch had a high-level position with Standard Oil, Cotter says. The family also created the Wildwood Center in Mentor, she adds.

Kathleen and her siblings eventually moved on, but when her mother, Margaret, fell ill in 2005, she moved back home to care for her until she died in 2009 at age 98. Her father, Thomas, was previously deceased.

Although living there alone, Cotter, who is in real estate, thought the home was too lovely and structurally sound to let go.

“You just don’t find these kinds of features and workmanship anymore,” she says.

At the landing of the wide, handsome oak staircase are stained-glass windows that stretch nearly floor-to-ceiling. Except for the maple kitchen floor, all of the floors are oak.

Wainscoting and crown molding is decoratively carved. Each room on the first floor closes off with pocket doors, made of White Oak, Red Oak or Bird’s Eye Maple. The wood that fills each room mirrors the pocket doors, lending each its own character.

The living room has a bay window, as do two bedrooms on the second floor. These rooms offer a view of the Grand River through leaded glass.

Behind the home is a two-story brick carriage house with a basement, built in 1890. It still has the cleated stairway that led horses down to the stalls, and pot-bellied stove that warmed stable hands.

At one point, the second floor maid’s quarters was converted into a cozy apartment with a small living room, kitchenette, and a bath with the original claw-footed tub. Family friend Kevin Spence, 49, moved into the apartment in August, 2017, while he works on his doctorate in higher education administration at Kent State University.

Spence filled his space with art that he collected during his travels to 18 countries, and his own photographs.

“I love living in a historic home that has been preserved,” says Spence, who is a member of the Downtown Painesville Organization. “I am originally from Painesville and I’m really proud of its historic features, and happy to be back here.”

Says Cotter, “Even though it’s kind of big, this was my mother’s and father’s home, and I don’t want to move.”