Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Glamorgan Castle, Alliance Ohio

 image by don0626 on Flickr
One of my favorite parts of traveling, particularly in the northeast and midwest, is that you never know what you may stumble upon house-wise. Every city or town no matter the size has its area of inspiring houses.
Recently I was in Alliance, Ohio, and stumbled upon a castle. The castle seen here isn't in Wales or Scotland this is small town America!
Glamorgan Castle was built in 1904 by Cleveland architect Willard Hirsh for the Morgan family. Col. Morgan sent Hirsh to travel Wales and study medieval castles to come up with an original design for the family. I wish I could find a client like that!
I was recently reading about porte cocheres on Things that Inspire and this is an impressive example she could have added to her post!
I've never seen such a large porte cochere before, particularly one with a flight of steps up to the front door.
Don't let the scale fool you -this front door is massive.
This enormous ornate 'door knocker' actually isn't a knocker at all but merely decorative. I suppose with a butler in residence a knocker wasn't necessary.
The walls are built of a Vermont marble and the tiles appear to be Ludowici clay tiles which are still manufactured in nearby Ohio.
The upkeep on the property is phenomenal. For the past 20 years the castle has been home to the local Alliance school district. Tours are given on Fridays but unfortunately I just missed it.
The details were all astounding. Not only for their quality (and that they still exist) but also for shear scale.
 These large marble scuppers are found all over the house; probably a copy of medieval originals.
I imagine that the master bedroom is high in the main tower;  Thats where I'd want mine!
 The front door leads one through an enclosed loggia with a crest of the family over the entrance.
These large patinated bronze light posts may be missing their original globes (and sport much too small replacements) but are still impressive.
Based on what I could find online the interior is sadly un-inspired if grand and well preserved. No quirky 'castle' influence mars the period 1905 interiors unlike at Doylestown PA at Mercer and Fonthill.
As an example of the good job that Alliance is doing on preservation the worn marble steps on the kitchen side entrance have been replaced with identical new white marble slabs; Heart warming attention to detail! According to their website they are trying to raise money for the rewiring of original light fixtures. This is the kind of preservation I like to see!
If you find yourself passing through Ohio don't forget to schedule a trip to Glamorgan Castle!