Historic home up for sale in Old West End

Unpaid tax bills drive group to put mansion on the market

Mansion View, a bed-and-breakfast and former home of well-known families, is being sold by the Old West End Association.
Mansion View, a bed-and-breakfast and former home of well-known families, is being sold by the Old West End Association.

Mansion View, a bed-and-breakfast and the former residence of Toledo’s most prominent and influential families, is up for sale.

The Old West End Association, which has owned the 25-room mansion since 2000 and manages the bed and breakfast, put the historic property on the market last week, said Mandy Lyons, association president.

The decision to sell the house was made, in part, because of the association’s growing unpaid property tax bill and the group’s inability to get tax-exempt status for it, she said.

The 9,000-square-foot Queen Anne-style house at 2035 Collingwood Blvd., with 10 bedrooms and eight baths and a carriage house, is listed for $324,777.

Also called the Reynolds-Secor home, it has hand-carved 13-foot-high ceilings, stained glass, and Italian marble and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to operating the bed-and-breakfast, the association rents the house for events such as receptions and weddings.

The association set up a payment plan in November with Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz to resolve the $77,307 in unpaid taxes and is current in making the $1,818 monthly payments, the treasurer’s office said.

Mrs. Lyons said the association’s request to the Ohio Department of Taxation for tax exempt status to operate the house as a nonprofit was denied and appeals of the decision were also rejected.

Members were presented with the proposal of selling the house and, after lengthy discussions, it was approved by votes of both the nonprofit association and its seven-member board, she said.

“Putting the house on the market has definitely been a lengthy decision. We probably have been in discussions on this for two years,” Mrs. Lyons said, adding that selling the house will free up money to focus on neighborhood projects.

Mrs. Lyons said the association will continue the bed-and-breakfast and event center until the house is sold.

The house was designed by Edward O. Fallis, the renowned architect whose other local landmarks included the Valentine Theatre, the Madison Building, and several area courthouses.

Mansion View was built in 1887 as a summer country estate for Frederick J. Reynolds, who was a railroad and banking executive.

Ownership passed to other prominent Toledo families, including L.M. Ludwig, who was in the oil business, and Jay K. Secor, president of the Citizens Ice & Cold Storage Co., who purchased it in 1904. His daughter, the late Virginia Secor Stranahan, was born and grew up in the home.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini were guests in the house in its earlier years. In the 1950s, Lee and Ruth Stuart, a vaudeville couple, converted the house into 15 apartments and built a motel that has since been torn down.

Mansion View underwent an extensive renovation in the 1980s and reverted to its original state for a bed and breakfast.

Judy Stone, a real estate agent who has the listing for the association, said she has received several inquiries about the house in the last week.

She said that prospective buyers must have preapproval for a loan before they can get an appointment to look at the house.

“We know that this house will create a lot of excitement in the Toledo area,” she said. “It will take a special person or family who will love and cherish this house.”

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.