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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BENES, W. DOMINICK - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BENES, W. DOMINICK (14 June 1857-15 May 1935), a prominent architect, was, with BENJAMIN S. HUBBELL†, responsible for some of Cleveland's most splendid classical revival buildings, including the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART (1916), as well as major early modern commercial structures, including the Ohio Bell Telephone Co. (1927). Born in Prague, Bohemia, to Joseph M. and Josephine Nowak Benes, his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1866. At 15 Benes left high school in Oberlin, Ohio to begin a 3-year (1873-76) apprenticeship with Bohemian-born architect, ANDREW MITERMILER†.

In 1876 Benes began with the Cleveland architectural firm of COBURN & BARNUM, later Coburn, Barnum, Benes & Hubbell (1896). Benes and Hubbell subsequently established their own partnership, HUBBELL & BENES (1897-1939), whose major projects included the Citizens' Bldg. (1903); the Cleveland School of Art (1905), demolished; the Mather College Gymnasium (1908); the WEST SIDE MARKET (1912); the YMCA (1912); the Illuminating Bldg. (1915); the Masonic Auditorium (1921); the current business wing (1922) of the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY; the PHILLIS WHEATLEY ASSOCIATION. (1927); and St. Luke's Hospital (1927). Benes was the "personal architect" to JEPTHA H. WADE†, and Hubbell & Benes designed the WADE MEMORIAL CHAPEL (1901) in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY. Benes alone designed the Centennial Arch erected in PUBLIC SQUARE during 1896.

Benes was president of the AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS, CLEVELAND CHAPTER and the CLEVELAND ARCHITECTURAL CLUB. He married Matilda F. Nowak on 9 Mar. 1881 and had 4 children: Grace, Clara, Matilda, and Jerome H. Matilda's father, Frank Nowak, erected the first meeting house for various Bohemian societies. Benes died in Cleveland and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery.

Johannesen, Eric. Cleveland Architecture, 1876-1976 (1979).

Hubbell & Benes Records, WRHS.

Last Modified: 14 Jul 1997 11:09:40 AM

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