Ohio History Journal

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Charles W. Heard was a major Midwestern Victorian architect, and prob-

ably the most important one in Cleveland for nearly three decades, from

1847 until his death in 1876. Like most of the architects of his generation,

he began his career in the early nineteenth century carpenter-builder tradi-

tion--the profession of architect in the modern sense did not emerge until

the 1840's. Heard was to work in the Gothic, Romanesque, Italian, and

French mansard styles of his day. Of the many buildings constructed by

him during the decades before and after the Civil War, only a small num-

ber survive today. These, as well as those that are known only from the

records, display his progressiveness of design and skillful workmanship.

Charles Wallace Heard was born in Onondaga, New York, in 1806, and

his family moved to Painesville, Ohio, three years later.1 In 1822, at the

age of fifteen, he became the apprentice of Jonathan Goldsmith, long

recognized as one of the major architects of the Greek Revival period in

Ohio. In 1830 Heard married Goldsmith's daughter, Caroline, and he was

associated with his father-in-law from the time of his apprenticeship until

the latter's death in 1847. In 1833 Heard moved to Cleveland where he

worked with Goldsmith during the 1830's. Together they built, near the

Public Square and along Euclid Street, a number of homes in the late

colonial and classical styles for prominent and influential citizens. About

this same time a house was built for Sherlock J. Andrews, and Heard was

placed on the job as "foreman" or "boss-journeyman." Although the

Andrews house is frequently attributed to Heard, Lucia Goldsmith stated,

in a list of her father's buildings: "I have seen H [Heard] credited as archi-

tect of [the Andrews] house, but have proof to contrary."2

The first house on which there seems to be general agreement that Heard

was the primary designer was the one constructed sometime in the 1830's

for Charles M. Giddings on Rockwell and Ontario Streets, facing the Pub-

lic Square. The house was a stone structure of late Georgian design, with

white wooden trim, a balustraded cornice, and four chimneys. Its archi-

tectural details were undoubtedly taken from the widespread pattern books

which helped so much in the dissemination of the classical styles in the

early nineteenth century.3

Charles Heard was an important Cleveland citizen, active in the literary

and debating societies of the day, Democratic politics, and the fire depart-

ment. He was also one of the founders of the Cleveland Academy of Nat-