Brownstone of Derbyshire Cleveland Heights, OH ARCHITECT: Dimit Architects

Brownstone of Derbyshire

Cleveland Heights, OH

ARCHITECT: Dimit Architects

The Brownstones of Derbyshire

Cleveland Heights, OH


The Red Door Church was originally built as a modest-sized First English Lutheran Church. It is located on a minor arterial street, on a 1.5-acre lot in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland. The building had housed a Protestant church, until just a few years ago. The original congregation had been displaced from Chester Avenue in Cleveland due to a street widening project, so they “moved up the hill” to Cleveland Heights. In the 1930’s an 8,000 square foot school wing was built and a day care added in 1952.

As is common in rust belt metro areas, population declined and spread away from the core city. In 1950 the church membership numbered 300, but by 2002 fewer than 50 remained. “We had to ask ourselves, ‘is it better stewardship to close the building or continue to struggle along?” said Rev. Robert Hanson, the church’s last pastor. The congregation voted to dissolve the fellowship than had begun 123 years previously. On September 1, 2002, the faithful of First Lutheran gathered for the last time. Thereafter, the church was offered on the market as a religious facility.

When no church-use buyers emerged, Brickhaus LLC, acquired the property for about $700,000 for redevelopment into residential condos with the marketing name Brownstones at Derbyshire. The Pastor came by regularly to see progress of the construction. The proceeds from the sale were distributed to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and social service agencies. The school wing was removed, and the church itself was converted to 5 condominiums. The balance of the lot was developed into an additional 15 residential condos. All homes were custom finished. The developers built the shell up to the plastering, and then allowed buyers to custom-design their finish. This allowed for substantial interior changes.

The project was built in four phases, and sold out within a year and half. The prices ranged from $174,000 to $550,000, or from $156 to over $200 per building square foot. For more information on the Brownstones of Derbyshire: 216-360-8313 |

ARCHITECTDimit Architects