Urbana mansion for sale, complete with carved lion’s heads, stained glass and turret


For 116 years, the three-story stone mansion, complete with turrets and stained glass, has lorded over Scioto Street in Urbana, one of several stately homes on the edge of downtown.

With its rich woodwork, including pocket doors, coffered ceilings and carved lions’ heads over the mantle, the 7,200-square-foot home reflects a more luxurious era, one punctuated by dances in the third-floor ballroom.

A home built for and Urbana lumber baron includes carved lion's heads over the fireplace in the foyer.

“Every time I walk in, I try to picture what a Friday night might have looked like,” said Jarad Barr, a RE/MAX Partners agent listing the home for $790,000. “The detail blows you away.”

The home was built in 1908 for Joseph Murphy, owner of the Murphy Lumber Co. Barr believes it was designed by famed Columbus architect Frank Packard.

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Barb Powers, with Ohio History Connection, agrees the home bears Packard’s marks.

“This house certainly has characteristics associated with Packard’s work, especially his early 20th-century Arts and Crafts movement houses,” said Powers, deputy state historic preservation officer with Ohio History Connection. “It shows a unity of design, quality of materials, and high degree of craftsmanship that can be associated with his designs.”

The interior of a turret in a 1908 Urbana mansion for sale

With its rough stone exterior, rounded turret and parapet gables, the home reflects the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture popular at the end of the 19th Century.

The interior offers a tapestry of wood, hand-painted wallpaper, and tile, including some that Barr believes is from the famed Cincinnati tile-maker Rookwood Pottery.

“Particularly noteworthy … is the entrance hall/stairway inglenook with the impressive tile fireplace and the dining room with the wood wainscoting, paneled ceiling, built-in buffet/side board, and tile fireplace,” said Powers.

The tile around the foyer fireplace may be from Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati.

Like many grand old homes of its era, the Murphy Mansion was eventually split into rental units. In addition to the main four-bedroom rental, the home includes two apartments. In all, the home includes eight bedrooms, four bathrooms, three kitchens, and seven fireplaces.

“It could easily be converted back into single-family home,” said Barr. “Several people have shown interest in converting it back.”

A 1908 mansion for sale in Urbana includes a rental carriage house in the rear.

The property also includes a six-car garage, a 1,280-square-foot, two-bedroom carriage house rental and two adjacent vacant lots.

“There’s endless potential,” said Barr.