Save This Old House: Ohio Brick Greek Revival
A bequeathed fortune allowed a widow to build this lavish home that has seen many lives
Location: Galion, Ohio
Contact: Mike Morse, 567-455-4205
The History: When prominent businessman Jacob Ruhl passed away in 1858, he left quite a bequest for his wife, Sarah: Along with a cluster of furnishings and farm animals, he set aside a small fortune—and very precise instructions—to build her this sprawling 7,000-square-foot house, which she outfitted quite lavishly. The house was later purchased by Dr. C.D. Morgan, who briefly converted the building into a makeshift hospital for patients in town. In the years since, it was used as a rooming house as well as a private residence, and has sat vacant for several years.
Shown: The seven-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath house sits on a third of an acre in a neighborhood of smaller houses.
Zillow, the real-estate marketplace, wants to see this home restored. As a Proud Preservation Partner of Save This Old House, Zillow is offering a $2,000 award to the buyer of this diamond in the rough. Contact email@example.com for details. And to explore more homes for sale, visit zillow.com. Offer expires 3/31/2016.
Why save it? The structure blends elements of Greek Revival and Italianate architecture, including a broad trim band beneath the cornice line and simple stone lintels above the windows. The interior has an elaborate quartersawn-oak staircase and matching paneling throughout the vestibule. It also retains carved mantels, built-in cabinetry, stained- and leaded-glass windows, and the original tin ceilings.
Shown: This circa-1910 photograph shows the stone porch, likely added after the house was purchased by Dr. C.D. Morgan.
What it needs: Structurally, the house is in good shape, with an intact brick facade and a sturdy stone foundation. A previous owner put on a new roof and installed a handful of new windows. The plumbing, electrical, and heating systems need a complete overhaul. Galion is a town of about 10,000 located 60 miles north of Columbus. The house was a sight to behold back when it was built, and that's no less true today; whoever tackles the renovation will own what is widely thought to be the grandest house around these parts.
Shown: The front entry has a series of intricate spandrels.
The dining room has a detailed mahogany mantel, built-in cabinetry with leaded-glass doors, and stained-glass windows.
The head casings above interior doors resemble window pediments often found on houses in the Italianate style.
This interior window on the second floor probably dates to Dr. Morgan's use of the house as a hospital.