Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

Neeld House, Beechview

Neeld House from the front

Here is a slightly bedraggled house with an interesting history. Long before there was a Beechview, the Neelds owned considerable property on that hill—68⅔ acres in 1890, according to an old map. Neelds were here at least as early as 1862. They built a house here in the late 1800s, possibly as early as the 1870s. By 1915, the Neelds had sold off much of the property to the Beechwood Improvement Company (which had planned on calling the neighborhood Beechwood, but things happen), but they still kept the whole block bounded by Broadway, Neeld Avenue, Candace Street, and Shiras Avenue. In that year, C. W. Neeld commissioned William Snaman, a prolific architect of houses for the wealthy merchant classes, to remodel his house,(1) and Snaman Tudorized it so effectively that we would hardly guess it had been older than 1915.

Neeld house

The orientation of that chimney on the left is a clue to the history of the house: it suggests that Snaman reoriented it, and the front was originally on the left side. We note that the address was given as “Candace avenue” in 1915, before Snaman got to work, whereas the front of the house now faces Neeld Avenue.

Neeld House from uphill

Neeld Avenue, by the way, is a good example of how confusing Beechview street names can be. It was Neeld Avenue in 1910. By 1923, it had become Narragansett Street. Today it is Neeld Avenue, though Father Pitt does not know exactly when the name reverted.

Ranch house and Neeld House

After the Second World War, the Neelds sold off most of the land in the block, retaining only enough for the house and garage. Ranch houses went up on Candace Street, and modernist apartment buildings went up on Broadway.


See a random picture
and become a better person

You could buy this book
if you wanted a book.

One response to “Neeld House, Beechview”

  1. The post office and residents were probably sick of dealing with all the possible spellings of ‘Narragansett’, not that ‘Neeld’ is much more intuitive.

    Interesting that they flipped the house 90 degrees. The current front faces South, which seems reasonable, but the original orientation had a much more panoramic view over the valley, which seems to now be entirely cut off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *