Owners seek landmark status for CH's first condo

Of the owners who gathered recently for this photo, the longest-tenured has lived at The Victorian for 19 year. The newest owner has lived in the historic condominium for under a year.

Completed in 1971, The Victorian was the first building in Cleveland Heights to be constructed as condominiums. In May, owners submitted paperwork to have the building designated a Cleveland Heights landmark, significant to the community. And on July 28—after a one-year pandemic delay—its owners will gather to celebrate The Victorian's 50th anniversary.

Properties Development Company broke ground on the building, located at 3701 Mayfield Road, in 1969. Architect Irving Robinson designed the building under the direction of the company's principal partners, Will Sukenik and Irving Fine, who were on-site daily.

At the time, condominiums were a new concept in home ownership. The Victorian's developers marketed the building by inviting potential buyers to “Try Before You Buy," in a program that let potential buyers rent a suite for up to two years before completing the purchase transaction. (Renting is no longer an option.)

The developers advertised the 50 individual homes as "condomaximums," and declared the the large, custom units to be "the best-kept secret in Cleveland Heights."

A "gracious living" style is integral to the interior of The Victorian, while its contemporary architecture creates a sense of timelessness. The two-story lobby features a stunning Strauss crystal chandelier and marble floors, and there is a party room, library, and game room, as well as a guest suite available for owners to rent. (The suite is currently being renovated.)

There are one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, and two penthouses. The spacious suites include two full bathrooms, a wet bar, and laundry facilities. There are two elevators, parking spaces for each unit are inside a heated garage, and there are individual storage lockers on each floor.

Through the years the lobby has been redecorated and the halls newly wallpapered, and new carpeting has been laid. The landscaped courtyard was originally built as a putting green.

A Plain Dealer article from Oct. 15, 1972, described The Victorian as a home "where you will leave your heart. A place to live, relax, entertain, and enjoy all the recreational, social and convenient facilities this fine location has to offer.”

Its owners are proud of the building, and several have lived at The Victorian for more than 20 years. The building's history committee members recently interviewed other owners to compile oral histories of The Victorian. Any vacancies do not remain on the market for very long.

JoAnn London and Cathy Whelan

JoAnn London and Cathy Whelan are both resident owners at The Victorian and members of its history committee.

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Volume 15, Issue 7, Posted 5:45 AM, 06.30.2022