Stop #8

Main House West Overlook

Mrs. Harvey chose Cleveland, Ohio architect, Abram Garfield, to design the Main House you see today. It was constructed between 1934 and 1936. The west side entrance, with its porte cochère, was used as the main entrance by the family.

Abram Garfield was born in 1872 and was the youngest son of United States President, James A. Garfield. He began his architectural practice in 1897 and founded the Cleveland School of Architecture in 1921. He was a noted designer of both residential and public buildings in Cleveland. Abram Garfield died in 1958.

*Plantings included in Miss Harrison’s master plan

leaf icon Native plant

American Hollyleaf icon

Ilex opaca

This towering broadleaf native evergreen tree produces small red berries in late fall and winter. This specimen has beautiful light gray bark and stiff leaves with curved edges and spike-like points. The American holly flowers are attractive to a variety of insects, and the berries are an important winter food source for birds and mammals. Holly cuttings have always been used in holiday decorating at Pebble Hill.

Cabbage Palmleaf icon

Sabal palmetto

Also known as sabal palm, this native palm tree than can grow up to 75 feet tall with fan-shaped leaves supported by hard, woody stalks. Cabbage palms are evergreens, shedding older leaves (stalk and all) as new ones emerge from the growing tip. The trunk is of uniform diameter from base to summit and mostly branchless. The cabbage palm tree produces large creamy to yellowish-white flowers that droop in clusters in early summer followed by a shiny, black fruit. The cabbage palm is an important tree to natural ecosystems providing food and shelter to reptiles, insects, mammals, birds, and even other plants.

Caption: Main House West Overlook view in 1907

Main House West Overlook view in 1907

Creeping Fig Vine

Ficus pumila

Fig vine is a vigorous, fast growing evergreen vine that appears on the overlook wall. Fig vine can cover structures quickly by cementing itself to porous surfaces. It requires constant pruning in warmer months. This vine grows in many locations throughout the property.

Caption:  Retaining wall at Overlook under construction in 1935

Retaining wall at Overlook under construction in 1935

Eastern Cottonwoodleaf icon

Populus deltoides

This deciduous native tree grows up to 100 feet or more and is one of the largest, fastest growing North American hardwood trees. The bark is gray and fissured on mature trees. Its lustrous, triangular-shaped leaves are bright green in summer and change to brilliant yellow in fall. In spring, female trees produce tiny, red blooms that are followed by masses of seeds attached to cotton-like fibers that disburse in the summer breezes like snow. A single cottonwood tree may release 40 million seeds a season. This specimen is a male tree. A female tree can be seen across Sunrise Field.

Southern Magnolia*leaf icon

Magnolia grandiflora

This beautiful native evergreen can be found throughout Pebble Hill’s vast grounds. With broad dark green leaves, magnolia trees can be quite massive, growing up to 50 feet tall. Best known for their fragrant flowers, magnolias bloom in the summer. They also bear a fruit cone with red berries late in the season.