Preserving Harbor View Mansion


What are your memories of Harbor View Mansion? Perhaps a third grade field trip, or taking your children for an afternoon spent among the museum’s interactive exhibits, looking out to the expanse of the Great Lake. Or perhaps just hours of getting yourself lost in the history of your community, admiring oil paintings of tall ships while surrounded by the grandeur of the mansion itself.

With the current plan at play, the Mansion’s prominent position on the harbor and in your memory will be reduced to just that, a memory of some long gone day. Proposals for an outdoor amphitheater and more green-space are to take the place of this local icon, but anyone who has been within a thousand yards of the shore would realize that an amphitheater so close to the water would be ill suited due to the constant breezes coming in off the lake.

So often we forget that we are just stewards to both our built and natural environments, that we today must preserve and maintain these fragile elements for future generations. Many community members propose a reuse of the mansion and its grounds to fit the needs of the city, an extended boardwalk from the beach, a children's museum housed inside the mansion along with office space which would be available for rent to maintain the cost of upkeep of the building. These are the examples of ways to make an old building relevant again and preserve the built environment of our community.

Devon Lyle Hardwick

Preservation Ohio