History behind the House

The year was 1890 and Ohio State University had just played and won it's first football game. Amos Solomon, architect and banker, paced off the frontage of the house he had just built on Harrison Avenue. It had a side yard and a back yard and its own private carriage drive off Fifth Avenue. The lot had appealed to Solomon right away. Located north of Columbus, it had been part of the land granted to John Starr after the War of Independence more than a hundred years earlier.

Starr had a farm there and sold part of it in 1818 to William Neil, who had bought up all the land around Columbus he could get his hands on-especially land to the north. What land Neil didn't own north of Columbus, Ohio State University did. When Neil died, his property was subdivided and sold to developers and investors, and eventually people like Amos Solomon.

Within a few years of building, Solomon added a parlor, foyer and two rooms upstairs. He added a false turret and a gable with a false balcony to the roof. He doubled the size of his home, added a new front porch and changed his address from 1269 Harrison Avenue to 313 West Fifth-a far more fashionable address. Solomon and his family lived in the house until 1907, when they moved to Mt. Vernon, Ohio when opportunity arose for Amos to advance his banking career.

The house on Fifth Avenue became one of the first in the neighborhood to be left to a series of tenants. For 23 years, although the Solomon family still owned the house, its occupants changed often. As the house's tenants changed, so did Columbus and the rest of the world. Women's suffrage, bathtub gin, vaudeville and the nickelodeon all left their mark, as did a Great World War and a depression.

In 1965, Olentangy Management Company (OMC, a subsidiary of Battelle Memorial Institute, bought the house on Fifth Avenue and the neighboring structures. In the late 1970's, OMC began their own Renaissance program-the nation's largest privately financed renovation project-and rejuvenated the run-down house at 313 West Fifth Avenue. The beautifully renovated house was a perfect fit for Cardinal Industries need of an executive retreat and they purchased the house in 1980. Cardinal renamed it “Harrison House” and made full use of the property until 1990 when it was again sold and turned into the beautiful Bed & Breakfast Inn we see today.


 

 

 

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