Frederic William Striebinger, hometown architect, designer of stunning iconic homes


Frederic William Striebinger has been part of the Cleveland architectural scene for over 40 years with activity spanning from the early 20e Century to 1940. He was a native of Clevelander, born in the city on April 22, 1870.

In addition to periods of study in New York and Paris, Striebinger lived and worked in Cleveland until his death on September 30, 1941.

Striebinger received his early education in Cleveland public schools, but an interest in painting led him to New York to study with William Merritt Chase in 1889.

Striebinger is considered the first aspiring architect from Cleveland to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris (the best school of architects studying the Beaux-Arts style at the end of the 19e century), where he lived from 1891 to 1896.

He was recognized as an accomplished classical artist. While his work was not exceptionally large, his buildings had a high survival rate and they include some of Cleveland’s most notable structures.

Maison Tremaine-Gallagher, 3001, boulevard Fairmount, Cleveland Heights 1966 His Tremaine-Gallagher house located at 3001, boul. Fairmount. in Cleveland Heights is one of the regional gems, arguably one of the finest residential buildings designed and executed in the Cleveland area.

Renowned for the varied and eclectic design of its interiors, the house is considered an exceptional example of Beaux-Arts classicism. The structure was designed and built for Henry A. Tremaine, who made his fortune promoting his business which eventually became the lamps division of General Electric in Nela Park.

The house was completed in 1914, but three years later Tremaine chose to sell the house and its furnishings to Michael Gallagher for the then astronomical sum of $ 350,000, making it one of the most expensive residences in Cleveland at the time. This would amount to about $ 7.5 million in today’s money.

Another notable example of Stiebinger’s work is the former home of Great Lakes shipping magnate Harry Coulby, who was known as the “Tsar of the Great Lakes” and who ran the Great Lakes. Pickands Mather & Company, the Pittsburgh Steamship Company, and the Interlake Steamship fleets.

Coulby’s house at 28730 Ridge Road in Wickliffe was built over a two-year period beginning in late 1912. Originally named “Coulallenby‘, The house has been Wickliffe’s town hall since 1954.

Coulby Mansion Courtesy of the Town of Wickliffe

Never left to decay, the house survives intact – a gratifying example of the successful adaptive reuse of a historic structure and something that brings great credit to the Town of Wickliffe. The Coulby Mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August 1979

Coulby is said to have had the trees on his estate cut down so that they did not obstruct his view of the ships he managed from the windows of his house.

Originally from England which had close ties to his home country, Coulby died suddenly in London during a visit in January 1928 at the age of 64. He was buried in a country cemetery in the town where he was born.

Striebinger was an active Freemason in Cleveland as 32sd Mason and Knight Templar Diploma. Because he was a member of these organizations, Striebinger was commissioned to design several Masonic halls in the area.

The House of Testaments, circa 1940Another surviving Striebinger design is the House of Wills funeral home on E. 55e Street – today rumor has it that she is haunted by seasonal tours of the infamous mansion.

Active as an architect until the last months of his life, Striebinger died of a brief illness and joined several of his peers at Lake View Cemetery.


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