The Steele Mansion was built in 1867 for George Steele, described in a daily newspaper as the “grandest home in Painesville”! The French Second Empire home featured a third floor ballroom, 8 Italian marble fireplaces, windows imported from France, three bathrooms with running water and ornate walnut doors, stairs and trim. The Steele family lived in the front portion of the home. A two story rear wing housed the servants.
The Steele family lived in the home until early in the 1900’s, when it was sold to Lake Erie College. The College used it as the President’s home as well as student housing and administrative offices. The ballroom served as the gymnasium.
In the 1970’s, the Steele Mansion was sold to a private owner, and was converted into an apartment building. While the home was still magnificent, it was showing its age. Attempts to melt a large icicle covering a leaking roof in 2001 resulted in the disastrous fire which destroyed the entire third floor and damaged the lower floors. The building was not repaired after the fire. It was roofless and open to the elements for nearly 10 years.
The Shamakian Family purchased Steele Mansion in December, 2010, without knowing that a demolition decree had been ordered for March of 2011. Very little of the original structure still stood except for the brick walls and the grand walnut staircase.
The first year was a scramble to save the building from collapse! The front part of the Mansion survived. The servants’ wing did not. Dumpsters full of rubble and debris were cleared out of the shell. Steel beams replaced rotted timbers. Any salvageable parts of the building were saved for reuse or to use as a template for restoration. The new servants' wing was built on the same footprint as the original wing. The project is being closely watched by the Ohio Historic Preservation Dept. to ensure accurate restoration. Once completed, the building will be on the National Registry for Historic Buildings, insuring that it will never again be in peril of destruction.
The Steele Mansion has come back to life as a Historic Inn and Meeting Center! It has been restored to its 1870’s grandeur. The Inn has sixteen luxurious rooms, each with its own distinctive décor. The entire first floor is available to the public for entertaining or meeting purposes. Three additional public rooms are in the basement (this is not your ordinary basement!). The public rooms have a capacity ranging from 4 to 100 people. There is a special bridal dressing room and a private dining area. A wine and bourbon tasting room is has been completed, offering local wines and spirits. The boutique will feature wares from local artisans as well as antiques and unique gifts. Many special events are planned, from high teas to gourmet dinners to cooking classes to recitals and small concerts. Steele Mansion will once again be the center of activity in Painesville.
We welcome all to stay at our inn/hotel while visiting the Cleveland Area. We are across the street from Lake Erie College and near many great wineries, parks and Lake Erie beaches. All of our guest rooms have private bathrooms and the best of modern amenities while still maintaining a historical charm. Free parking, pet friendly rooms, Jason International MicroSilk Hydrotherapy Air tubs and complimentary Wi Fi.