The 1861 Italianate was Oberlin’s grandest expression of its commercial aspirations. It was built by John D. Carpenter, a name we will encounter many times tonight.
With its mansard style slate roof, stone sills, lintels and upper floor double-hung windows, this brick building has out-lived all other Oberlin commercial structures.
Businesses located on the first floor were grocers, boots and shoes, millinery, and confectioners. As we will see in many buildings businesses came and went at a rapid rate with more than 25 businesses in this storefront over its 130 years. Upper floors have been both residences and professional services, and from 1907 to 1919 the second and third floors were occupied by the Order of Odd Fellows.