Filed Under Suburbs

Winton Place

Alexander Winton was a Scottish immigrant. In 1897, established the Cleveland-based Winton Motor Carriage Co. The company was a success, enabling Winton to build a large estate for himself and his family at the current location of Winton Place at 12700 Lake Avenue in Lakewood. He named the estate Roseneath. Built in 1903, Roseneath boasted 25 rooms, beautiful gardens, and picturesque views of Lake Erie. 

Winton enjoyed a banner year in 1903. Not only did he see his family estate completed. His auto plant located on Berea Road also became the largest in the world that year, after operations had outgrown its previous location on East 45th in 1902. The list of accomplishments attributed to the Winton Motor Carriage Co. is too long to include in its entirety, but some of its most notable accomplishments include:

(1) Making the first commercial sale of a standard domestic automobile in 1898; (2) producing the first vehicle to have the moniker "automobile" ascribed to it (The term was used first by Charles Shanks, a Plain Dealer reporter who Alexander Winton drove from Cleveland to New York in 1899); (3) producing the first mail truck to successfully serve the United States Postal Service; (4) achieving a speed of 70mph on a newly paved Clifton Boulevard in 1902, an unofficial land speed record at the time; and (5) producing the first automobile which traveled the continental United States coast-to-coast (San Francisco to New York City) in 1903.

Interestingly enough, Winton was encouraged by one of his engineers to hire a young Henry Ford, but Winton denied him a position. Ford would go on to produce the comparatively inexpensive Model T roadster. Costing around $390, Ford's widely successful Model T was partially responsibly for the demise of Winton's automobile production in 1924, as Winton's least expensive model cost $2,295. Although Winton automobile production ceased in 1924, the Winton Engine Corporation, established in 1912 as the Winton Engine Company, would continue on and eventually be integrated into the General Motors Corporation in 1930.

The decline of the Winton Motor Carriage Co. depleted Winton's personal fortune significantly, leading him to sell Roseneath and move to a smaller home in Clifton Park. Roseneath itself was destroyed by fire in 1962, laying the groundwork for the construction of Winton Place luxury apartments on the Gold Coast. Completed in 1963, the 27 stories of Winton Place made it the tallest high-rise apartment building between New York and Chicago and the tallest building in the Greater Cleveland area outside downtown. Currently, all that remains of the mansion is a yellow-brick wall bearing an inscription of the name "Roseneath."

Images

Winton & Shanks, 1899 This photo, taken in 1899, depicts automotive pioneer Alexander Winton (left) seated next to Plain Dealer reporter Charles Shanks (right). Winton drove Shanks from Cleveland to New York in 1899, and Shanks subsequently wrote a report on the event. In his report, Shanks referred to Winton's vehicle as an automobile. This is credited as the original coining of the term. Image courtesy of Lakewood Historical Society
Caricature of Alexander Winton This humorous depiction of Winton shows him giving Uncle Sam a ride in one of his automobiles. Source: Newspaper Cartoonists' Association of Cleveland, Clevelanders "As We See 'Em": A Gallery of Pen Sketches in Black and White (Cleveland: A. H. Clark, 1904), 284, https://archive.org/details/clevelandersaswe00news/ Creator: R. W. Satterfield Date: 1904
Winton Cross Country, 1901 Taken in 1901, this photo depicts automotive pioneer Alexander Winton driving one of his own vehicles in an early attempt at completing a cross-country trip. While this attempt failed, the first automobile to successfully complete a trip across the continental United States was a Winton, traveling from San Francisco to New York in 1903. Image courtesy of Lakewood Historical Society
Winton Bullet, 1903 This 1903 photo depicts Alexander Winton behind the wheel of his sporty Winton Bullet. Winton initially designed the car as a publicity stunt, hoping to bring more interest to Winton automobiles. The Winton Bullet proved to be a record breaker, setting an unofficial land speed record of 70mph on Clifton Boulevard in Lakewood in 1902. Image courtesy of Lakewood Historical Society
Winton Factory This undated photo depicts the inside of Winton's factory on Berea Road in Lakewood.For a short while after its completion in 1903, Winton's new factory was the largest automotive plant in the world. Image courtesy of Lakewood Historical Society
Roseneath, 1915 Located at 12906 Lake Avenue in Lakewood, Roseneath was the estate of Alexander Winton. Winton was a Scottish immigrant who established the Cleveland-based Winton Motor Carriage Co. in 1897. Completed in 1903, the marvelous building only lasted until 1962 when it was accidentally destroyed by fire. The house was scheduled for demolition at the time. The fire simply beat the wrecking ball to the punch. Image courtesy of Lakewood Historical Society
Roseneath Burns Down, 1962 Roseneath was scheduled to be demolished by the Central Excavating Company to make way for the Winton Place apartments. Before demolition could begin, however, an acetylene tank brought into the mansion by the excavators caught fire, causing the house to burn down. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
12576 Lake Roseneath Located at 12906 Lake Avenue in Lakewood, Roseneath was the estate of Alexander Winton. The estate lasted for less than sixty years before getting destroyed in a fire in 1962. In 1963, the Winton Place high-rise apartment building was constructed on the site where Winton's old estate used to be. Today, all that remains of the mansion is a yellow-brick wall adorning an inscription of the name "Roseneath." Image courtesy of Lakewood Historical Society
Winton Place Located on Lakewood's Gold Coast, Winton Place was the tallest high-rise apartment building between New York and Chicago at the time it was built in 1963. It was also the tallest building in the Cleveland metropolitan area outside downtown, a rank it held until it was eclipsed by Crystal Tower in East Cleveland in 1968. Image courtesy of Lakewood Historical Society

Location

12700 Lake Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

Metadata

Matthew Sisson, “Winton Place,” Cleveland Historical, accessed August 15, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/index.php/items/show/237.