341 West Front Street

The Pyle House

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Supporting the preservation and appreciation of Perrysburg's historic architectural heritage

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The Pyle House:

 

We feature this house at 341 West Front Street not only because it is interesting and unusual, but because it raises some questions about its former use that perhaps a website visitor can answer.

Even though it is located on the north side of the street with a wonderful river view and within easy walking distance of downtown (generally a popular place for a home), the house is not old by Perrysburg standards.

But who built it and when cannot be determined from the available records. The west side of the house all but physically abuts the neighbor’s garage.

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341 West Front Street

The closeness certainly pre-dates today’s nearly 40-year-old code for minimum distance between properties, and it probably prompted the controversy some years ago when a so-called spite fence was built by the next door neighbor, all or part of which was quickly removed.

The house is unlike most in town. The first floor wall is of painted brick and the upper level is board and batten. There are actually four levels from the river side to the finished attic. The downstairs front windows are topped with the elliptical fanlights that match the round-arched door which apparently was an addition to the building. There also are two hooded windows on the east side, but not on the west. A single-car garage on the left side for some reason has a ceiling extending to the second floor.

All in all, the unusual architecture of the house compels a second look from passersby.

One thing that is confirmed by long-time residents is that the place was once a convalescent facility. This is also supported by evidence of five small side-by-side rooms running along the second floor facing the river. Walls between all but one of them have been removed but there are five double French doors along the wall opening to the balcony overlooking the river.

One former owner claims to have been told that this was a recovery facility for the old Rheinfrank Hospital just east of Hood Park. On the lowest floor is a large room with a very high ceiling with exposed steam pipes, such as those seen in some institutions. And in it is a small kitchen (not to mention a non-functional fireplace seemingly built to be for decorative purposes.) Was this a combination living or recreation and dining room for the staff? In any case, a question is: was the house built for this purpose or was it converted to it?

Other longtime Perrysburg residents say that the house was once owned by a man, possibly John S. Pyle who acquired the property in 1914, who built and sold pipe organs there. The high-ceilinged room described above could likely have accommodated this kind of activity.

But much of this is speculative. The questions remain, who built the house and when, and was it for either of the purposes mentioned here?

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