Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lake County Profiles: Jonathan Goldsmith (1783-1847) - Landmark Architect

Jonathan Goldsmith was a master builder and early architectural pioneer in Cleveland and Painesville history.  Born in Connecticut, he first apprenticed as a cobbler, then as a carpenter-joiner.  Arriving in Ohio in 1811, he fought in the War of 1812 before embarking on an architectural career that has been well documented in the Western Reserve annals of early American history.  His legacy includes more than 30 homes or commercial buildings in Painesville (1819-1843), a handful of others in Lake/Geauga Counties, and ten more in Cleveland ( circa 1830-1837).  His late Federal and early Greek Revival style, influenced by the late 1700's thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, are easily seen in the structures still standing.  Goldsmith was also an inventor and patent holder.  His creation of the multiple plow was a boon to the farming industry in his time.  Goldsmith endured some financial hardships later in life.  Ingleside, his last home was located on the present site of the Lake County Fairgrounds.  The Fairgrounds purchased the home in 1911.  A fire destroyed the home in 1929.  Goldsmith was buried in Painesville Twp. Cemetery.  His tombstone is clearly marked and his many dwellings dot Lake County's landscape as a tribute to his pioneering past.

A Listing of Goldsmith Structures still standing-
  • Dr. Everett Denton Residence        1816                  55 Mentor Ave.      Painesville
  • Uri Seeley Residence                     1819                  969 Riverside Dr.   Painesville
  • Eber D. Howe Residence               1822                  215 Mentor Ave.    Painesville
  • Judge Aaron Wilcox Residence     1827                                                 Painesville
  • Dr. John Matthews Residence        1829                 309 W. Washington St. - first Painesville Hospital, home was relocated to Lake Erie College campus and is now the Alumni Center
  • Lewis Morley House                     1836                                                 Painesville
  • Joseph Sawyer Residence              c 1820              9364 Forsythe Rd.  Mentor
  • Dr. Charles Livingston Residence c 1827                                              Painesville
  • Isaac Gilbert Residence                 c 1827                                              Painesville
  • Nathan Corning Residence            c 1830              8353 Mentor Ave.  Mentor
  • Robinson Elwell Residence          1833                 3742 Erie St.          Willoughby
 Other Notable Buildings-
  • First Presbyterian Church           c 1830                                               Painesville
  • Painesville National Bank          1834                                                  Painesville
  • Bank of Geauga                          c 1830
  • Goldsmith House at Hale Farm  c 1830                                              Bath
  • Fairport Harbor Lighthouse       1825-71             129 Second St.       Fairport Harbor
  • Fairport, Painesville, Warren Railroad  1836       First Railroad in Ohio
  • Judge Samuel Cowles Mansion  1834                 Euclid Ave.           Cleveland
  • Truman Handy Mansion             1837                 Euclid Ave.           Cleveland

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