Wooster’s Timeless Treasure: The Historic David Q. Liggett House

Nestled on 408 N. Bever Street in Wooster, Ohio, a magnificent wood-frame house stands proudly as a testament to the architectural and historical grandeur of the past. This prominent structure, known as the Liggett House, or Liggett-Freedlander House, with its intricate details and rich history, has earned its rightful place on the National Register of Historic Places under reference number 94000770.

pink victorian freedlander house in wooster ohio

The house is believed to have been erected around the year 1862 by the hands of its esteemed property owner, David Q. Liggett. As a prominent downtown Wooster businessman, Liggett’s influence and legacy permeate the very essence of this grand abode. Local tax records reveal a telling story of the property’s value; a dramatic increase can be seen between the years 1861 and 1863, which suggests that the house was most likely constructed during this time period, most of the work done around 1862.

Intriguingly, an 1868 local newspaper article sheds further light on the story of this stately residence. The article reveals that D.Q. Liggett invested an impressive amount (at the time) of $1,500 between 1865 and 1868 to enhance and improve his already magnificent house, clearly indicating that it stood tall and proud as early as 1865. This $1,500 would be equivalent to approximately $28,000 today, which still seems like quite a small amount of money when talking about such a large home. This captivating historical account conjures up images of a bygone era, inviting us to step back in time and explore the rich tapestry of the past as it unfolds within the storied walls of this timeless edifice.

pink victorian freedlander house in wooster ohio
Liggett House Wooster, Ohio
Liggett House Wooster, Ohio

A Symphony of Styles: Architectural Fusion at the Historic Liggett House

Since its construction, the house has undergone a myriad of alterations, each saturating it with the essence of the times and the unique vision of those who resided within its walls. According to Ohio Historic Inventory records, this stately abode boasts an eclectic fusion of architectural splendor. It weaves together the intricate and diverse elements of late Victorian design with the grandeur and romance of Italianate styling, creating a breathtaking tapestry that reflects the rich and dynamic history of the house.

David Q. Liggett, the esteemed original owner and creator of this architectural marvel, called it home until his passing in 1886. As the years have gone by, the residence has seen countless changes, each layer of history woven into the very fabric of its being, further enriching the story it has to tell. Today, this grand and storied house stands as a living testament to the architectural prowess and the ever-evolving beauty of the past.

Freedlander’s Influence: A Transformative Era for the Historic House

In the year 1918, the distinguished Herman Freedlander, proprietor of the renowned Freedlander Department Store in the heart of downtown Wooster, was on the search for a new home. Together, he and his wife acquired the historic property. It was under ownership of the Freedlanders that the house underwent a significant transformation, most notably the removal of the eye-catching turret that had once graced the structure.

As the story goes, the Freedlanders envisioned a more modern and convenient living space for themselves. They undertook the ambitious project of constructing a lavish bathroom on the second floor, directly above the grand entranceway. This addition, complete with a private door connecting it to their bedroom, would offer them the comforts and elegance befitting their status.

However, this seemingly harmless renovation led to an unforeseen consequence. The newly built bathroom unintentionally obstructed access to the once-prominent turret, rendering it inaccessible for routine maintenance and upkeep. Faced with this unexpected dilemma, the Freedlanders made the difficult decision to dismantle the iconic turret, forever altering the appearance of the house.

The Freedlanders’ time as owners of the property would leave a permanent mark on the home’s legacy and character, showcasing the ever-evolving history of architectural trends that have shaped it throughout the years.

Breathing New Life into History: The Olders’ Commitment to Preserving the Past

In the modern era, William Older II and his wife Patti Page became the proud owners of this historic gem in 1987. Prior to their ownership, the home had been divided into three separate apartments, resulting in a state of disrepair and neglect. Undaunted by the challenges before them, the dedicated couple embarked on an arduous twelve-year journey of meticulous restoration, driven by their unwavering passion to revive the home’s former glory as a single-family residence.

Liggett House turret
National Register of Historic Places plaque

During this labor of love, the Older family chanced upon an old photograph showcasing the house in its original beauty, complete with the majestic turret still intact. Inspired by this glimpse into the past, they decided to reintroduce the distinctive turret to the property. After much careful planning and craftsmanship, in November 1996, the turret was triumphantly reinstated atop the house, restoring a vital piece of its architectural heritage.

In honor of the home’s rich history and their painstaking efforts to rejuvenate it, the Olders christened their abode “Victoriana,” a term that encapsulates the essence of the Victorian era, and pays homage to the unique blend of materials and styles that defined this enchanting period.

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