Steele Mansion was built in 1867 for George Steele, a wealthy and powerful man of the era. An 1867 newspaper article declared that it was the grandest home in Painesville! The French second empire home had 8 Italian marble fireplaces, front windows imported from France and ornate walnut wood doors and trim. The entire third floor was a ballroom. The Steele family lived in the front portion of the building. A two story rear wing housed the servants.
The Steele family lived in the home until early in the 1900’s, when it was sold to Lake Erie College, to serve as the President’s Home. It also housed several college offices and housed college students. Important guests visiting LEC would stay in Steele Mansion. In 1936, Amelia Earhart slept there after lecturing to the Aviator’s Club.
In the 1980’s, the Mansion passed into private ownership, and was converted into an apartment building. While the home was still magnificent, it was showing its age.
A leaking roof covered by a large icicle led to the disastrous fire in 2001. Attempts to melt the icicle sparked a flame which burned off the mansard roof and ballroom. The building was not repaired. It stood open to the elements for nearly ten years!
We (the Shamakians) purchased the property in Dec., 2010, knowing that a demolition decree had been issued for March, 2011. Very little of the structure, except for the brick walls, still stood. That first year of ownership was a desperate race to save the structure. The front part of the Mansion was successfully rescued. Unfortunately, the servant’s wing collapsed. It has been rebuilt.
Steele Mansion will begin its new life as a Historic Inn in Painesville, OH. It is now on the National Historic Registry, insuring that it will never again be in peril of destruction!
Join us on our journey as we rebuild one of Painesville’s most remarkable historic structures!