The historic Purcell Mansion & Gardens offers Old World elegance and the ultimate romantic castle experience for your special event. Completed in 1929, Purcell Mansion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and is located in Alliance, Ohio, centrally located only 60 miles from both Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and only 18 miles from the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
As if plucked from the countryside of Europe, the majestic estate sits on 13 private acres and is entered through an iron gate, followed by a winding circular drive that leads to a porte-cochere. Nine acres are wooded and feature a meandering nature trail and a two-story tree house where deer and the ever present sounds of song birds can be enjoyed.
The grounds include four landscaped acres that feature:
- A serene pond with a cascading fountain, romantic weeping willow tree and a rowboat for two,
- The Gothic Garden, with a grand stone staircase, central tiered fountain and three elegant gothic stone arches that make a perfect backdrop for your special day,
- The Great Lawn, with sweeping views of the beautiful grounds, and
- The Courtyard Garden, a magical and intimate setting surrounded by grand terraces and brick garden walls, with a tranquil goldfish pond and fountain.
The mansion is designed in the French Norman style, with two wings forming an “L” with a round tower at the inside elbow of the L. The steeply pitched slate roof presents a series of dramatic peaks. The mansion is constructed of brick, stone and heavy timber and has approximately 7,500 square feet arranged on seven separate levels. There are 26 rooms, three fireplaces, and six full and one half baths.
The mansion features three fabulously original bedroom suites that are available to guests, including the Princess Elizabeth Suite, the Medici Suite and the Wessex Suite, all of which have en suite accommodations.
The west wing includes the Princess Elizabeth Suite, named after Princess Elizabeth of Bavaria, later Empress of the Austrian Empire. The suite features gargoyles that are hand-carved at the head and foot of a built-in wooden double bed on a raised platform. Oral tradition is that the bed originated from the captain’s quarters of a sailing ship. The other bedroom in the west wing is the Medici Suite, with two build-in beds carved with inlaid floral designs. Both suites enjoy commanding views of the Courtyard and Gothic Gardens.
The east wing includes the Wessex Suite, with a built-in paneled bed and views of the eastern woodlands of the estate. The east wing also includes the master suite, which remains the private quarters of the owners.
The main entrance is located on the north side of the mansion and opens onto a gothic arched entry hall guarded by a full-sized suit of armor. The entry hall leads to the gothic arched entrance of the Great Room, traversed by heavy timbers and decorated by two wood-carved gargoyles – a horned frog and a fire-breathing dragon. The room rises to a dramatic 25 foot cathedral ceiling and has a massive fireplace flanked by two life-size French noblemen carved in Europe from a single oak tree. To the left is the King of France, to the right is the Duke of Normandy, symbolizing the French Norman style of the house. To either side of the grand fireplace are inglenooks with built-in benches. Appearing as a decorative motif throughout the great room and the entire house is the fleur-de-lys, a symbol of the French monarchy since the 12th century. The large beams in the Great Room came from the Arter-Nicholes Warehouse in Hanoverton, Ohio. Three sets of French doors lead from the Great Room to a two-level outdoor terrace, where guests can enjoy views of the Courtyard Garden.
A circular tower rises through the center of the house and connects all seven levels. Its interior is 16 feet in diameter and features a lighted wishing well that is 45 feet deep and still percolates with water during wet weather. To the right of the well, carved in the stone floor, are the initials of a worker who plunged to the bottom of the well during construction. Upon his rescue, the grateful worker left his initials as a permanent reminder of his mishap. In the turret of the tower sits a circular library with bookshelves that cover half of the walls and windows overlooking the Courtyard Garden. The library’s central wooden spire is said to have come from the mast of the same ship that provided the captain’s bed in the Princess Elizabeth Suite.
The circular tower stairs lead further down to the level of the breakfast room and the grand dining room. The butler’s pantry connects the dining room and the kitchen. Both the pantry and kitchen still contain the original cupboards. Adjacent to the kitchen is the Garden Room, featuring a marble and granite floor, massive floor mirror and stained glass window. At the next lower level is the expansive Pub Room, featuring the famous Dutch’s Pub and the wine cellar. The Pub Room opens up to the Courtyard Garden.
The mansion also features a 40 by 22 foot ballroom with crystal chandeliers, as well as an exercise room with adjoining steam bath.
Purcell Mansion was completed in 1929 for Robert A. & Elizabeth H. Purcell. Robert Purcell was a 26 year-old industrialist who worked as Vice-President and Production Manager of the Alliance Machine Co., which was founded by his father. Purcell was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, a secretive club of aviators that included Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle and Eddie Rickenbacker. Purcell flew his own plane to search by air for a hillside location for a unique home in the style of a French chateaux. He spotted the perfect site while flying over the current location southeast of Alliance. The mansion was designed by the Alliance firm of Roller, Scott, Zimboli, Inc., Architects.
Unfortunately, Purcell died on June 14, 1932, just days before his 29th birthday and only three years after his mansion was completed, when he crashed a borrowed Velie Monocoupe airplane into a barn north of Alliance. His young widow Elizabeth departed from the mansion, which stood vacant for most of the 1930’s. It was then purchased by William S. Lindesmith, Jr., the owner of Lindesmith Hardware in Alliance.
Steven and Deborah Okey are the seventh owners of the estate and have overseen a meticulous quarter century restoration of the mansion that is faithful to the original grandeur of its design and architectural heritage. The Okey’s have now made this hidden gem available for limited private rental.