Ponderosa with a contemporary flair

Architect - Hirschman Architects

Written by: Craig J. Heimbuch

From the street it looks like a dentist’s office or a municipal building. Anything but a house. Its exterior walls are metal, adobe colored like some sort of misplaced Arizona office building and wood beams, huge windows and stainless steel accents make it appear rugged, almost eternal. 

Yet for Bob and Debbie Darden, this somewhat ambiguous structure is more than a house, it is a dream home. Situated on a sloped, wooded lot in Bentleyville that angles down from a Union Cemetery near the road to the Chagrin River at the back of the property, the site and the home that stands there has been dubbed the Ponderosa. 

“That came out of the construction process,” Bob says. “I was here every day and one of the guys started calling me Ben Cartwright. The Ponderosa theme stuck through the process, with different site managers taking the names Hoss and Michael." The Dardens even considered having their doorbell play the theme from the television show, but opted for a sign in the turn around instead. 

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