202wbrooklynb

Address: 202 West Brooklyn Street
Architectural Style: Greek Revival
Year Built: 1840s
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: George W. Myers

George W. Myers was Kenyon College's first master printer and bookbinder from the establishment of the institution into the early-1840s.  He was influential in preserving books and other objects located in the College library and elsewhere on the campus.  Myers was born near Woodstock, Virginia in 1813.  By 1820 his family had moved to Licking County, Ohio, and shortly after to Millford Township, Knox County, to start a farm.  Myers married his wife Catharine Gripp on June 1, 1838, and was father to eleven children.  Myers was among the first communicants of Harcourt Parish, and was elected treasurer of College Township in 1842.  He printed various religious articles in addition to literary works as Kenyon's master printer.  It is not known exactly when this house was built, but Myers likely had it constructed sometime in the 1840s, around the time of his retirement from printing.  Kenyon College did not begin selling parcels of its land until sometime around 1852, but a tract of college land was sold Myers in 1832.  Further supporting the construction date of the early-1840s, Myers was made a trustee of Kenyon College in 1842.

Myers sold the property to Reverend J. J. McIlhenny (or McElhinney) in 1858 before moving to Mount Vernon in 1862.  Rev. McIlhenny was a professor of Theology at Bexley Seminary in the 1860s.  The house was painted yellow during his occupancy.  In 1867 a colleague accused him of teaching "unsound doctrine."  He resigned from his position five years later because of the severe pressure placed on him by the faculty as a result of this accusation.  Rev. McIlhenny sold the house to Dexter Hancock in 1877.  Later the house was occupied by Harriett Merwin, a headmistress of Harcourt Parish Academy, which was a private boarding school for boys located in Gambier.  The house was by Kenyon College for a number of years as student housing during the 1960s and 1970s.  Several of these students went on to become Pulitzer Prize winning authors.

The house is an excellent example of a side-gable Greek Revival home.  The heavy wood entablature is defined by a series of frieze ventilation windows, one above each bay, that are of a Greek key design.  The entablature stretches beneath the entire roofline, creating the standard pediment associated with Greek Revival architecture.  Two end chimneys project from the roof.  The wing located at the rear of the house appears to have been an early addition.  The original sash windows remain intact, as does the 19th century woodwork.  A small summer kitchen of frame construction behind the house was recently converted into a sun porch.  An addition to the rear of the house was built around 1865.  The large, full-length Italianate front porch was added sometime around the 1870s, and likely replaced a smaller Greek-style entrance portico.  The current porch consists of delicate square columns defined by decorative brackets on either side.

 


 

Gambier District

District Properties