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June 2010

What’s New · New Clifton Branch Library Project · Parkview Manor History & Architecture


Pictures of Parkview Manor

History of the Building

George B. Cox (1853-1916), nationally known for many years as the “Easy Boss of Cincinnati,” controlled City politics for over 25 years. When in his early 40s “Boss” Cox contracted the region’s most prominent architectural firm, Hannaford & Sons, to build a residence fit for his status in the Clifton Gaslight District on a property opposite Burnet Woods Park. Samuel Hannaford had recently completed both City Hall and Music Hall and over his career designed more than 300 buildings in the Cincinnati area, including a store and apartment building on 7th street for Cox.

“Boss” Cox lived in Parkview Manor and entertained lavishly there from 1895 until his death from pneumonia at the age of 63 in 1916. His wife maintained the home until she died in 1938. It was bequeathed to the Union Bethel and became a home for girls until 1947 when it was purchased by Pi Kappa Alpha for a fraternity house. In 2007 Michael L. Dever purchased the property.

Architecture

Built in 1895, Parkview Manor is situated on a large lot at the confluence of Brookline, Wentworth and Jefferson avenues in Clifton. It is a polychromatic stone building with a prominent three-story turret (Cox’s poker room) in the Renaissance Revival style. The foundation walls are Indiana limestone and the exterior walls are coursed sandstone backed with limestone. The house contains some unusually shaped rooms—circular and triangular. Of particular note are the numerous secret passageways found throughout the structure, leading between rooms and sometimes to dead ends. Among the other notable architectural elements are stained glass windows, elaborate fixtures, chandeliers, and hand carved mantles and newel posts imported from Europe on the staircase.

The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.