This imposing 13 bedroom, 7 bathroom home, once the grandest of all Cincinnati mansions sits quietly hoping for a new owner to rescue it from oblivion.
The Mary A Wolfe House, on the National Register of Historic Places as a landmark is deteriorating and unless someone steps forward soon, could be lost forever.
The Richardson Romanesque Mansion was designed by Samuel Hannaford and Sons. The local Cincinnati firm was known world wide as one of the finest architectural firms of its day. Hannaford's architectural genius is showcased throughout the Queen City. From City Hall, , the Music Hall to Old St George, over 50 Hannaford and Sons buildings are listed on the National Register.
But the Wolfe Mansion is one of Hannaford Landmarks that everyone has forgotten about, perhaps because it isn't in the 'nicest' part of Avondale, perhaps because if suffered the indignity of being turned into a nursing home? Maybe because its not one of his better known commissions? No one knows and little has been written about this once grand mansion.
The home has been off and on the market for a few years now, since it closed after years of use as The Elite Nursing Home. It was always listed at a price that was "really" just out of reach considering all the work it will take to bring it back. But now the house is on the market at a more 'realistic' price of 99K. Still a lot to pay, but for a National Landmark?
The house is a visual tour de force of the Romanesque Style, its grand arched veranda to its tower, the house screams English Castle. The house is a testament to a time when Cincinnati knew only its grand future was ahead of it and only looked towards the future.
The Wolfe Mansion is still standing, while Cincinnati went through two World Wars , the Great Depression, white flight and riots, It's solid stone foundation and massive stone walls still stand. A fading testament to the "Gilded Age" of Cincinnati.
Whomever steps forth to buy it will have monumental task ahead of them. Time has not been kind to this once grand mansion, but the effort would be worth it. Hopefully some one or some organization will step forward to save it. Given increasing values in the areas the numbers could work again as a grand single family residence. Otherwise its just a matter of time until its gone and houses like that will never be built again.
One would think that someone, somewhere, would want to save it and have the financial means to do so?