Originally called “Coulallenby”, the mansion was built by Harry C. Coulby. The building is situated on a beautiful 54-acre estate. Mr. Coulby served as Wickliffe’s first mayor. Construction was started in 1913 and completed in 1915 at a cost of over $1 million dollars. Around the mansion are formal gardens, a pond, the former cow barn, a gatehouse and a public park with rustic nature trail. At the turn of the century, Wickliffe was home to many millionaire businessmen, including Harry C. Coulby, Fergus B. Squire, Frank Rockefeller and the Corrigan family. Until 1954 when the City of Wickliffe purchased Coulby for its municipal offices, the house had several other owners, including being used as a Catholic girls’ school. Thankfully, previous owners did not damage many of the homes original fixtures, such as chandeliers, skylight, wallpaper, and hand-carved woodwork and hardware.
Inside Coulby Mansion
Architect Frederick W. Striebinger was hired by Mr. Coulby to build his lovely home. The exterior of the building is white glazed terra cotta. At one time, a wrought iron fence and stone pillars surrounded the property. Two central entrances, one in the front of the house and one in the back, lead directly to the main hall.
Hallway, Entrance Foyer & Stairwell
The first floor hallway connects the living quarters with the dining quarters. If you look closely, you will see many fossils embedded in the marble. The entrance to the back of the house was originally used as the main entrance to the home. The beautifully tiled floor patterns reflect the round foyer. A Tiffany skylight may be viewed from the main staircase landing.
The West Wing is currently used as Council Chambers. Originally the living room of the Coulby family, it was called “The Rose Room” by the Sisters of Holy Humility of Mary and was used by visiting parents of girls boarding at their exclusive girls school. Three beautiful Palladian windows fill the room with light. The interior doors open to permit ventilation. Along the north and south walls are carved cabinets. The Tiffany chandeliers in this room are original to the house. Note the hand-carved moldings along the ceiling. The marble fireplace is one of six in the house and is imported from Italy.
The East Wing held the formal dining room, a semicircular breakfast room, butler’s pantry, and kitchen. Having served as the offices of the Police Department from 1954 – 1990, the dining and breakfast rooms have been restored to their rightful beauty. Refurbishing was completed in 1991 with new carpeting, fresh paint, woodwork repairs and chandeliers. The lovely “wallpaper” is actually canvas. Mr. Coulby commissioned an artist to do the beautiful painting you see today. The butler’s pantry retains the original cabinetry, which reaches to the very top of the high-ceiling room.
Formerly used as a library by Mr. Coulby, the room retains its stately feel as the Mayor’s office. The room features a fireplace, bookshelves, and hand carved wood panels from Bohemia; the perfect place to while away a cold winter’s evening. The location of the library also afforded Mr. Coulby a commanding view of this estate. In 1999, the Mayor’s Office was restored to its original look. Carpeting was removed and the original hardwood floors were refinished. The fireplace and woodwork had extensive restoration work performed and a new period area rug was laid.
While it now bustles with the regular traffic of a city’s daily business, this room was the former morning room. Here Mrs. Coulby planned her day and perhaps consulted with the housekeepers or cook. It also features a cozy fireplace.
The area above the west wing was Mrs. Coulby’s “boudoir.” This area was her bedroom, dressing room, sitting room, and private bath.
Mr. Coulby’s bedroom and the guest room occupied the area in the upstairs east wing. Mr. Coulby would keep the trees in front of the house trimmed so he could watch his ships sailing by on Lake Erie.
A few steps down from the second floor, you encounter the servants’ rooms. The bell chime system, once used to summon the butler or maid, is still in the hallway.
Contact the Wickliffe Historical Society to arrange a tour of this magnificent building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.