SCHWEINFURTH, CHARLES F. (3 September 1857-8 November 1919), was one of Cleveland's most active and distinguished architects, who designed many of the city's finest residences, churches, and educational buildings. Charles Frederick Schweinfurth was born in Auburn, New York to Charles J. and Katharine (Ammon) Schweinfurth. After graduating from Auburn High School in 1872, he worked at architectural offices in New York City for two years and at the office of the supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury in Washington, D.C. from 1874 until 1880.
His first architectural assignment in Cleveland was a great stone mansion on EUCLID AVENUE for financier SYLVESTER T. EVERETT, which has since been demolished. By 1910, Schweinfurth had completed at least 15 residential designs for prominent and wealthy Clevelanders on Euclid Avenue between East 12th and East 40th streets, when the thoroughfare was popularly known as "Millionaires' Row." Still standing is the SAMUEL MATHER house at 2605 Euclid Avenue, built in 1910, which is now part of CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY. Schweinfurth also designed Samuel Mather's residence "Shoreby" (1890) in BRATENAHL; the MARCUS A. HANNA house (1890) on Lake Avenue; his own home on East 75th Street between Chester and Euclid avenues; and the Gordon Morrill residence (1915) on Magnolia Drive in UNIVERSITY CIRCLE.
Significant church commissions included the remodeled interiors of the OLD STONE CHURCH (1884) on PUBLIC SQUARE; CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (1890) at East 79th Street and Euclid Avenue; the Ursuline Convent (1893) at East 55th Street and Euclid Avenue (since demolished); and TRINITY CATHEDRAL & Parish House (1907) at East 22nd Street and Euclid Avenue, which many critics and historians deem his finest work. Schweinfurth had a long and productive relationship with Samuel and FLORA STONE MATHER, which led to designs for the UNION CLUB OF CLEVELAND (1905) in downtown Cleveland, as well as several buildings on the early Adelbert and Mather college grounds. Three structures still stand on the CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY campus: the Florence Harkness Chapel (1902) and Haydn Hall (1902) on Bellflower Road and the former Backus Law School (1896) on Adelbert Road. Four landmark stone bridges (1896-1900), crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in UNIVERSITY CIRCLE, are Schweinfurth designs. Schweinfurth also designed the Five Oaks Mansion (1892) for Walter J. McClymond in Massillon, which now houses the Massillon Woman's Club.
Schweinfurth was married to Mary Ella Griggs from 1879 until her death on December 28, 1903. He then married Anna Jopling in 1910. He had no children from either marriage. Schweinfurth died in Cleveland and was buried in Auburn, New York.
View finding aid for Charles F. Schweinfurth Plans, WRHS.
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Johannessen, Eric. Cleveland Architecture, 1876-1976 (1979).
Perry, Regenia. "The Life and Works of Charles Frederick Schweinfurth" (Ph.D. diss., WRU, 1967).