The Sarah Benedict House and Garden
An Historic Place
Located at 3751 Prospect Avenue, the Sarah Benedict House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Upper Prospect Avenue Historic District.
Its asymmetrical massing, hip roof and detailed masonry work exemplify this rare local example of the brick Queen Anne Style – as do its irregular slate shingling and the tiled frieze between the first and second stories. Unfortunately, the identity of the home's architect is unknown.
Built in 1883
Built in 1883 for Sarah Rathbone Benedict, widow of Cleveland Herald publisher George A. Benedict, the house is one of the few remaining survivors of a bygone era in Cleveland's rich history. From 1860 until about 1915, Upper Prospect Avenue was second only to "Millionaires' Row" on Euclid Avenue, which is one block to the north and once dubbed as "the most beautiful street in America."
While Euclid Avenue housed the mansions of Cleveland's wealthiest movers and shakers, the once fashionable Upper Prospect area housed the families of the affluent upper middle class – attorneys, doctors, publishers and businessmen. When the Benedict House was constructed, it joined the line of handsome single-family homes, elegant apartment buildings, churches and row houses on the street. Widowed in 1876, Sarah Benedict lived in the home from its construction until shortly before her death in 1902 at the age of 87. As a prominent Clevelander, she was an integral part of the city's vibrant social, religious and philanthropic scene.
After her death, the Benedict House existed for many years as a single-family residence. As the Upper Prospect neighborhood transitioned during the early 20th century to a center for Cleveland's automobile retail sales and other commercial uses, the property served as a boarding house, office building and for light manufacturing. It later became "The Library," a popular bar for students at nearby Cleveland State University. Until its recent renovation by the Cleveland Restoration Society, the Benedict House stood vacant.