125 East Front Street

The Halsted House

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The Halsted House:

 

This house, one of Perrysburg's rare examples of Second Empire architectural style, sits on what is arguably the city's most prestigious site at 125 East Front Street.

It was here, just east of the Commodore Perry statue, that prominent Perrysburg pioneer John Hollister built a similar house in 1823. That house was probably not purposely designed as Second Empire since that style didn't become popular in America until the reign of Napoleon III in the mid-1800s, but it featured some of the same distinctive details.

House

125 East Front Street

Second Empire houses were never single story because the boxy roof line permitted a somewhat restricted but usable second story.

The Hollister house was the showplace of this northwest frontier village. When famous people came to town, this was where they were entertained, and they included General William H. Harrison, who addressed the local citizenry from its spacious lawn in 1840 when he ran for president, Daniel Webster, and in later years William McKinley, Warren Harding and Nicholas Longworth among others.

Over the years, the property was owned by other prominent families, including those of Dr. Erasmus D. Peck, Sidney Spitzer (when it was called Horton Hall, Mrs. Spitzer's maiden name), James & Lucille Morris and John and Lucille Halstead (Lucille was James Morris' widow).

In 1940, fire destroyed the then 117-year-old house while the owners were out of town. The Halsteds quickly set about to replace it.

They hired Donald M.. Buckhout, an architect who lived in Perrysburg, to design the new house and he did an excellent job of replicating many of the features of the original structure—the mansard roof with slate shingles, the decorative pedimented dormer windows, and the front portico with Doric columns. The rear of the home offers a beautiful view of the Maumee River down the hill to where John Hollister's grain elevating and shipping operation was located.

The house is laid out in a series of connecting wings, with a large garage (not shown here) connected by a long, attractive, curved Doric colonnaded pergola. This replaced the original porte-cochere, or covered carriage entrance, on the east side.

John Halsted was a Toledo broker and real estate executive who died in a swimming accident in 1965.

 

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