Albion Interactive History / 314 South Superior Street

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Downtown

314-318 S. Superior, Sheldon Block, 1872

Block +
US Census Block # 34-304 (Block 61)

Commercial Second Empire

Historic Designation +
Albion Area Historical Architectural Survey, 1985
National Register Listed, August 18, 1997

Two-story brick building with a straight mansard roof, centered gable and patterned slate roof tiles. In addition there is a cresting along the roof line. The centered gable facade has two dormers with ogee window surrounds on the third floor and two paired windows with center oggee openings on the second floor. On the West Erie side is a one-story entry hood of decorative milled wood. A distinctive feature of this building is the second floor cornice that is interrupted by the dormer surrounds. This broken cornice is marked by brick dentils. Another distinction is the use of recessed wall panels between brick engaged columns. At the first floor this treatment takes the form of a modified, semi-elliptical arches with brick dentils along the flat arch soffits.

Historic Preservation Notes +
Former home of prominent 19th century banker James W. Sheldon, preserving this building is essential to helping future generations to understand Albion.

Exterior suggestions

Interior suggestions
The 2nd floor of this building was home to James W. Sheldon. While some evidence of this luxurious past remains, this space has been severely altered. Not to the point of being unsalvageable though. Stabilization of this building is needed though. The east wall on the 3rd floor has a gaping hole letting in animals and water. This needs to be filled immediately. Then the owner should consider restoring the luxury apartment on the 2nd floor. Historic preservation tax credits are available. Other funding could come from local businesses and organizations interested in seeing this Albion showplace survive. When completed this space could make an excellent bed and breakfast, a place for small performances and lectures, or possibly a place for visiting professors, parents, and guests visiting Albion College. Once one starts imagining, anything is possible.

Past Occupants
Bruce Kinmont Drugstore (Superior S 314), 1915
Rollins Hotel (Superior S 314, upstairs), 1915

Image Source: James B. Field, Souvenir of the City of Albion, 1894.

The Sheldon Block is located on the northwest corner of Superior and Erie Streets. Erected in 1872 on the site of the Albion Hotel, it was the home of prominent Albion banker James W. Sheldon (1830-1894). Sheldon was a major financial figure during the 19th century. This 1894 photograph also shows the Clift Block on the right, erected in 1861 by John Clift.

South facade and detail of painted store sign in bay.

Original milled wood entrance before being restored.

Spiral staircase at south entrance leading to Sheldon’s apartment on the 2nd floor.

Before and after grey marble fireplace removed from the Red Parlor in 1998.

Same fireplace in its new home. Is this progress?

White marble fireplace (removed much earlier).

Isaac giving a tour after the fireplace has fallen.

Door handle in the Burstein home removed from the Sheldon apartment as well. Progress repeated?

Bay window inside and outside. Projecting window replaced with glass blocks for safety reasons.

Parquet flooring in room on the 2nd floor.

Identical ceiling medallions on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Bay of three windows facing Superior St.

Detail of tile in front of grey marble fireplace.

Detail of heavy wooden doors and moldings in Red Parlor.

Detail of door handle fixture, sans handle.

Stairs leading from 2nd to 3rd floor.

Water damage to luxury suite on the 3rd floor.

Detail of wallpaper in 3rd floor luxury suite.

Walls, wainscotting, and painting on the 3rd floor.

Hope in Albion, light coming through a distant door.

Pair of arched windows on the south facade.

Shade and window facing south on the third floor.

Vinyl siding over windows, progress complete.

Source: Isaac Kremer, June 1999.

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