Grove Hill

“There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here or there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody.”

This quote, from National Trust for Historic Preservation leader Richard Moe, embodies the Save Grove Hill project. Chagrin Falls is a special place where traditions endure and neighbors celebrate the town that unites them. Now, thanks to the passion and generosity of the Chagrin Falls community, as well as Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s vision and professional expertise, the rich character of Chagrin will be enhanced through preservation of the historic Bancroft home and creation of a new public park at Grove Hill.

On May 9, 2020, the Land Conservancy reached its goal to raise enough funds to save the iconic Grove Hill landscape in Chagrin Falls from a luxury home developer. The 1878 Bancroft House, a grand mansion with wide views of downtown Chagrin, and a stone wall constructed as a WPA project during the Great Depression, will be preserved along with a big piece of Chagrin’s history.

It was not an easy path. The project took commitment and perseverance from start to finish. Before a deal was reached, the Land Conservancy spent weeks in negotiations with the developer, in addition to studying the property’s potential for preservation and working with the Village of Chagrin Falls to plan a perfect public park.

The fundraising campaign began just as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issud stay-at-home orders. Our deal with the developer was time-bound and quickly expiring; we had only five weeks to raise $600,000 needed to purchase the mansion and surrounding property.

As community volunteers organized on social media and canvassed Chagrin with yard signs appealing to their neighbors for support, the Land Conservancy and the Save Grove Hill committee managed a comprehensive campaign – including soliciting major gifts, sending thousands of letters to potential donors, conducting follow-up calls, and executing a comprehensive marketing campaign – all while operating fully remote.

In just five weeks, we met our goal, raising over $600,000 to protect a historic home and property. Now, the character of Chagrin will become even more thriving and vibrant, as a community’s values and legacy are preserved for generations of residents and visitors to come.

Chagrin Falls Class Donors

You Saved Grove Hill!

Please verify that your gift given in honor of a Chagrin Falls High School graduating class is both present and accurate by clicking here. Any changes can be sent to Kendrick Chittock at kchittock@wrlandconservancy.org and will be accepted until June 30th.