James Elrick, a local carpenter, built the Lane-Hooven House in 1863 for Clark Lane (1823-1907), a Hamilton industrialist and philanthropist. Lane, who first came to the area at age twenty-one as a blacksmith, resided in the house for more than eleven years. In 1866, Lane built the library, also originally an octagon, across the street. In 1868, he conveyed the library to the city. The C. Earl Hooven family resided in the house from 1895 to 1942. In 1943, Bertrand Kahn purchased the residence and presented it to the community for civic and charitable uses. It was donated as a memorial to his father, Lazard Kahn, a Hamilton industrialist and civic leader. The Lane-Hooven House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
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The Lane-Hooven house has eleven rooms and was built in the Gothic Revival architectural style, which was popular in Ohio from approximately 1835 to 1870. Accordingly, the house features a sharply pitched roof and decorative bargeboard under the eaves. Exterior features also included a greenhouse, formerly on the south side of the house; and on the front lawn, a fountain - believed to be the first in Hamilton. The plan of the dwelling, an octagon, made its appearance in Ohio in the 1850s and was intended to advance house design by centralizing household activities and improving heating, lighting, and ventilation. Inside, a circular open stairwell extends from the basement to the third-floor turret. Other highlights of the house include a cast-iron fence with a stone base, a Tudor-style entrance with carved wooden doors framed by stained glass, and ornamental cast-iron balconies.