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An historic and picturesque grouping of barns and caretaker houses is the setting for this new home near Cleveland. Careful attention to the restoration of the graduated cedar shingle roof and architectural features of the historic barns and apartments, coupled with sympathetic new construction preserves the character of this early 20th century farm complex. The new home was designed by Ferguson and Shamamian with David Ellison working as Restoration Architect and Architect of Record.

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The Van Sweringen brother's legacy lives on in Northeast Ohio. "Clanonderry", originally built in the late 1920's to house the Van Sweringen's horses and cars, a blacksmith's shop and apartments, has been converted into a new home that is featured in the April 2010 issue of Architectural Digest Magazine.

Ferguson and Shamamian of New York and David Ellison, Architect, of Cleveland collaborated on the recent restoration and additions to architects Small and Rowley's romanticist agrarian folly, known at the time it was built as the "Daisy Hill Farm Group".

Cleveland architects, Philip Small and Charles Rowley, active from 1921-1928, may be better remembered for their designs of Shaker Square, Moreland Courts, The Country Club and The Greenbriar Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. While the Van Sweringens were alive, Small and Rowley acted as their architects on many of their private commissions, including their suite inside the Terminal Tower and their home, Roundwood Manor, also at Daisy Hill in Hunting Valley. The farm complex includes extensive examples of the work of the late Gates Mills mason, George Brown most notably a stone turret and bridges over moat-like Luce Creek.

The collection of buildings is reminiscent of French manoirs and moated English farmhouses, with its dovecote tower, stone bridges and almost fortified courtyard. After the Van Sweringen's deaths the property was purchased and occupied by first the Hanna family and later by several members of the O'Neill family, former owners of the Cleveland Indians baseball team and Leaseway Transportation Corporation.

In the 1990's the buildings began to fall into disrepair. The village of Hunting Valley made special provisions to allow their redevelopment as historic properties with the hope that they would be preserved for future generations. The current owners bought the property in July 2000.

In July 2001 local architect David Ellison, retained as the Architect of Record by the new owners to see the project through to its completion, began to document the existing conditions. Simultaneously, New York architect Mark Ferguson began to plan for a new home to replace part of the original group of buildings. During the following years extensive restoration work was undertaken on the signature-style stonework, the graduated cedar shingle roofing with its many cupolas and the old stables. Parts of the old complex were razed, while doors, beams and other materials were salvaged and a new house rose in place of the old garages. As the buildings came back to life and the new home took shape, overgrown landscaping was pruned back, gardens were restored and new ones were conceived and planted by Maggie Williams of Brighton, England.

An old circular horse-watering trough marks the axial centerline of the main barn and new breakfast room window, linked across a courtyard to the Van Sweringen's old hunting lodge and paddock. An original fountain was restored at the front door of the lodge. High above the entrance to the stables, a clock tower finally had its clock installed. The long neglected weathervanes were restored, as was the unique stone roof of the round tower-like structure at the front gate. Ms. Williams' genius in knitting the landscape and buildings into a cohesive whole emerged as new garden areas took shape around the new house. A lawn flanked by an allee of pleached (braided) Linden trees makes a formal statement in the midst of the lush foliage of the more intimate garden and patio spaces that surround the house.

As important as the buildings and new gardens are to the project, it would have fallen far short of its achievement had the mother-daughter Interior Design team of Pat Brownell and Anne Ames not brought their expertise to make the new house into a home.

The Owner of the property, who commissioned the project and took on the role of General contractor, commented, "Ferguson's office provided the basic design direction for us, while David Ellison helped us develop ideas and carry them out. We couldn't have done the project without each of the players, including Pat and Anne, and my project manager, Mark Murphy, who coordinated the bidding and contracting process. I think we maximized the value of what each person brought to the table, and we had a lot of fun at the same time."

In speaking of the project, Mark Ferguson said, "David Ellison was essential to the success of the project. Not only did he share our deep experience with traditional architecture, but he shared our values, our vision and our dedication to our client."

Maggie Williams added, "It's very helpful to be able to liaise with someone locally, who empathizes with the vision of the house and garden that I'm trying to create."

The end result is a profound testament to the imagination and commitment of the current Owners and to the successful collaborative work of Williams, Brownell and Ames, Ferguson, Ellison and Murphy in preserving this unique piece of the region's architectural heritage.

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