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Cleveland Heights Denies Beaumont Plan To Demolish Painter Mansion

Beaumont School included this photo of Painter Mansion in documents submitted to the planning commission. [Cleveland Heights Planning Commission]
Beaumont School included this photo of Painter Mansion in documents submitted to the planning commission.

This story has been updated with the results of the planning commission vote. 

The Cleveland Heights Planning Commission rejected a proposal Wednesday night by Beaumont School to demolish a roughly 114-year-old mansion on campus.  

Kara Hamley O’Donnell, a Cleveland Heights city planner, said in an email that the commission’s vote was unanimous.

Beaumont President Wendy Hoke said in an email to ideastream that the school could reapply to demolish the property and is “determining what actions we need to take to strengthen our case for demolition.”

Built around 1905, the house belonged to banker Kenyon Painter. The Ursuline Sisters purchased the building in 1942, using it as a school and later as a residence,  according to the application Beaumont submitted to the planning commission. The sisters submitted the home to become a city landmark in 1979, according to the school.  

Speaking by phone before the meeting Wednesday, Hoke said the building is in poor condition, and upkeep is expensive.

“At this point, we don’t have any use for it, we don’t have any educational use for it,” Hoke said. “It’s not suitable for academic use. We tried to use it for office space, but it requires so much work.”

The school is considering building an athletic facility there, but Hoke said she won’t commit money to planning that until Beaumont knows it can move forward with demolition.

Michael Fleenor of the Cleveland Restoration Society said Beaumont should consider all of its options first.

“That building shouldn’t be lost without a lot of thought and lot of effort into whether that’s the best decision to make or not,” he said.

Cleveland Heights’ landmarks commission voted unanimously against demolition last month. 

Nick Castele is a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media.