The MORRIS A. BRADLEY CARRIAGE HOUSE, located at 1980 East 73rd St. is a distinctive three-story 4,800 square foot, 1887 Tudor Revival structure designed by architects CUDELL & RICHARDSON. It originally served as a carriage house for the 1885 twenty-four room main house built for Morris A. Bradley, his wife Anna A. Leininger, and children Alva II, Charles Leininger, Helen Marie, Elanore Francis, & Catherine Anne. Morris Bradley, son of Captain ALVA BRADLEY founded BRADLEY TRANSPORTATION, a main builder of Great Lakes shipping vessels. In 1868, Morris joined his father’s ship building business. Morris purchased an adjacent vacant lot and built a Queen Anne Style home at 7217 EUCLID AVE. next to his parent’s mansion at 6200 Euclid Ave.
The Bradley Carriage House incorporates a variety of significant design elements—including stucco over brick, a sandstone foundation, decorative woodwork, a steeply pitched roof, and a copper sheathed cupola. The second level exterior features decorative wooden corbels at the ends of the gabled roof and a ribbon of six double hung windows with shutters. The top floor features two seventeenth century inspired glazed pattern casement windows flanked by decorative wood spindles.
In 1885 when Alva Bradley died, he left his family a fortune invested in real estate. Under Morris’s leadership Bradley Transportation became a prominent member of the LAKE CARRIERS ASSOCIATION which he served as its first president. Morris founded the Bradley Real Estate Co. one the largest holders of Cleveland real estate during the 1880s. In 1907, the main house was extensively renovated into the popular Tudor Revival style. The major renovations included adding porches to the main house, a timber wood frame to the exterior façade and matching the timber third floor design of the carriage house to the main house. Morris added a suite for his aging mother-in-law Helen Leininger.
Alva T. Bradley II named after his grandfather; Captain Alva Bradley managed his family’s business affairs after his father’s death in 1926. In 1927, Bradley became the principal owner of the CLEVELAND INDIANS and brought outstanding ballplayers to Cleveland (See: BASEBALL). He served on the Board of Directors for the NATIONAL AIR RACES. Alva Bradley II, his wife Marguerite Andrews, and four children Morris A. Bradley, Caroline, Marguerite, and Eleanor left the Euclid Ave. compound in 1921, when the family moved to Elandon Hall in the AMBLER PARK Historic District in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS.
Following the Bradley’s departure, the property became upscale apartments. In 1928, the main house became the scene of a domestic tragedy as one-time millionaire James Potter killed his family and himself with a poison laced homemade cold remedy. He was implicated in a fraud scheme involving a sum of $590 taken from a woman under false pretenses. In 1927, Potter was placed in-charge of managing the Bradley property.
That same year the main house and carriage house were assigned separate street addresses. In 1929 federal liquor agents raided the Bradley apartments exclusive Das Deutsches Haus restaurant that catered to wealthy executives and local politicians. Eleven barrels of beer were seized, and three waiters were arrested. In 1931, the carriage house was converted from a rentable boarding house into an auto garage for an expanding used car lot.
In 1946 Anna Bradley sold the property to Ben Freeble who converted it into a boarding house known as Ben-Beth’s Hall, an office for a used car dealership and Avenue Vista Nursing Home. The renovated mansion was heavily damaged by fire in 1964. From 1966 to 1970 the mansion served as a nursing home. Freeble rented the carriage house for commercial purposes. CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF ART alumni John Puskas a long-term tenant of Freeble purchased the carriage house from him in 1951.
Puskas rented the first floor and held the largest privately-owned kiln on the second floor. The federal government commissioned him to design a commemorative enamel-on-silver plaque to mark the Apollo launch in 1967. He created a series of works involving his preferred subjects: Cleveland inspired landscapes, musical instruments, and Cubist inspired still life. Puskas held weekly salons on the third floor of the carriage house that he converted from a hay loft into an apartment. Puska’s work was featured in numerous Cleveland MAY SHOW exhibitions. He created masks for KARAMU HOUSE theatrical performances. CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART Director, WILLIAM M. MILLIKEN singled out Puskas “bold design and powerful colors.” John Puskas also served as Trustee and Curator of the DUNHAM TAVERN. Puskas passed away in 2000.
In 1974 AJ Philpot purchased the main house and it was used for a variety of commercial purposes. After years of neglect the main house was torn down in 1998. Today, the site is the home of One Midtown townhomes.
The Morris A. Bradley Carriage House in 2018 was designated a CLEVELAND LANDMARK STRUCTURE by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission. The Bradley Carriage House is currently being utilized as mixed residential & commercial space by the current owner Carlo Maggiora. He uses the turn of the century carriage house for studio space on all three floors which are divided into multiple workstations for different materials used in building museum quality exhibit pieces for artworks. The ground floor is used as a metal/jewelry shop with milling machines and tools for building mounts. The large sliding garage door within the shop is used for unloading materials and large pieces of artwork. The second-floor houses offices, mannequin, and textile areas where parts are carved & sewed. The third floor is used as a storage facility for materials and tools. Maggiora installed a new roof, added new sewer line, replaced HVAC, disposed of large old kiln, removed all non-original interior construction, and planted landscaping.
Originally, the carriage house was storage for horse-drawn vehicles and a live-in servants’ quarters. The structure has served many adaptive roles in its life. Today, it is one of the few remaining Millionaires Row structures still standing.
Last updated: 12/14/2023
Cleveland Institute of Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library. Artist files: John Puskas. (n.d.).
Cleveland Landmark Commission. Morris A. Bradley Carriage House file. (n.d.).
Cleveland Public Library Fine Arts. John Puskas Artist File. (n.d.).
Cleveland State University Michael Schwartz Library. John Puskas Cleveland Press clippings. (n.d.).
Cuyahoga County Archives. 1980 East 73rd St: Building & street card. (1943).
Dutka, Alan. Images of America: Cleveland's Millionaires' Row. (2009).
Dutka, Alan. Misfortune on Cleveland’s Millionaires’ Row. (2015).
Jazzar, Bernard & Nelson, Herald. Painting with fire: Masters of Enameling in America 1930 – 1980. (2006).
Peskin, Laura. Deep Cover Cleveland: Topics in Depth Vol. III. (2021).
Rideout, Grant. Ancestors and Descendants of Morris A. Bradley. (2013).