Ohio History Journal


THROUGH the efforts of a group of Colum-

bus citizens, organized as the Kelley

House Committee, Inc., and the Franklin

County Historical Society, the famous

Alfred Kelley mansion, located at 282

East Broad Street, has been carefully dis-

mantled and removed to Franklin Park,

where it is to be reconstructed and re-

stored. At Franklin Park the stonework

of each wall has been laid out on the

ground in the same position it had

vertically. Each of the three thousand

stone blocks in the structure was marked

to indicate its precise position. Some

three hundred photographs were taken,

and careful measurements and drawings

were made, to record all exterior and in-

terior architectural features.

Walter L. Davis, construction super-

intendent of the Ohio Historical Society,

and Cyril H. Webster, who was on the

staff of the Society as building superin-

tendent of the Ohio State Museum before

his retirement in 1958, supervised the

dismantling and recorded the structural

and architectural details. Members of

the Columbus chapter of the American

Institute of Architects served as con-


The Alfred Kelley House was one of

the largest and finest homes built in the

Old Northwest at the height of the Greek

Revival period. Erected in the 1830's, it

was then the most imposing house in

Columbus, and was until its dismantling

one of the few examples of Greek Re-

vival domestic architecture still standing

in the heart of a large city. Its design is

one of dignity and simplicity, featuring

four Ionic porticoes and an unusual, if

not unique, masking stepped parapet. The

structure was built of Ohio standstone,

probably brought to Columbus by canal


The house had many important his-

torical associations. As the home of one

of Ohio's ablest statesmen from 1838 to

1859, it was the center of hospitality for

all important state and local political

leaders. Sixty delegates to a convention

in 1840 were entertained there at the

same time. Alfred Kelley was one of the

"fathers" of the Ohio canal system and

supervised much of its construction. He

became the architect of Ohio's financial

and tax structure during his service in

the general assembly and on the canal

commission. At mid-century he turned

his energies to the introduction of the

railroad to Ohio.

THE Ohio Historical Society will hold its

seventy-seventh annual meeting at the

Ohio State Museum, Columbus, Friday,

April 27. The theme of the meeting is

to be the Early American and Ohio

Decorative Arts, and a special feature

will be the opening of a new decorative