CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JACOB GOLDSMITH HOUSE

JACOB GOLDSMITH HOUSE

The JACOB GOLDSMITH HOUSE, which formerly stood at 2200 E. 40th St., was built on a scale comparable to that of the mansions that once lined EUCLID AVE. The building has been attributed to CUDELL & RICHARDSON, architects. This mansion, considered a "superb example of Eastlake style architecture," had a polychromed exterior of brick and stone.

The house was built for Jacob Goldsmith, who lived there until just after the turn of the century. He was a leading clothing merchant and the firm he headed evolved into the JOSEPH & FEISS CO. By 1908 the house had been turned over to institutional use, housing the Jewish Infants Orphan Home, which provided shelter and care for homeless, primarily preschool, children. At this time an auditorium was added at the southwestern corner of the building. The Orphan Home was later absorbed by the Welfare Assn. for Jewish Children. In 1923 the house became the headquarters of the Cleveland branch of the UNIVERSAL NEGRO IMPROVEMENT ASSN. That organization was founded in 1911 by Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist and businessman. In later years the Cleveland branch of the UNIA was headed by MASON A. HARGRAVE. Hargrave fought to keep the building from being demolished, and led an attempt to restore the building and convert it into a African American cultural and community center.

The house was severely damaged by an arson fire in Nov. 1988. The following month, Hargrave died, and in Jan. 1989 the Goldsmith House was demolished.