: Dated ca. 1930-1939, this photograph shows the home of Alfred Kelley (1789-1859) in Columbus, Ohio, in Franklin County. Kelley was admitted to the bar in 1810, becoming Cleveland's first lawyer. He was elected to the state legislature in 1814 and became the leader of the Whig Party in Ohio. He was influential in the establishment of Ohio's laws and served as canal commissioner from 1825 to 1834 and was also president of several railroad companies.
Kelley moved his family to Columbus and acquired an 18-acre tract of land on Broad Street between Fifth Street and Grant Avenue just north of downtown in 1831 for $917. Dubbed "Kelley's Folly" because of its marshy land, it appeared to be poor site to build a grand residence. He persevered and built a Greek Revival-style mansion, completed in 1838. The mansion was constructed of Ohio sandstone with porticoes and Ionic columns on all sides. It served as the governor's mansion under James Campbell between 1890 and 1892.
In 1907 the house passed into the hands of the St. Joseph Cathedral School and was extensively remodeled. It was abandoned by 1958 and dismantled in 1961. Stones from the mansion were numbered and removed to Wolfe Park on Broad Street and then again to the Ohio Expositions Center in 1966. Although plans called for incorporating the stones into the new Ohio Historical Center in the late 1960s, they are now in the custody of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio. The Christopher Inn, a circular 1963 structure, was built on the site; it was demolished to make room for a parking lot in 1988.
This photograph is one of the many visual materials collected for use in the Ohio Guide. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a sector of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the primary goals of which was to complete the America Guide series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939.
View on Ohio Memory.
: SA1039AV_B01F10_008 Subjects
: Architecture; Mansions--Ohio; Demolished buildings; Alfred Kelley House, Columbus, Ohio; Kelley, Alfred, 1789-1859 Places
: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)