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Dublin Arts Center Building

Dublin Arts Council is housed in an elegant French-Eclectic styled building that was constructed in 1941 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This notable structure, once a private residence, is situated atop a sloping 4.32-acre estate, providing sweeping views of the Scioto River to the west. The property is rich with colorful stories and cultural heritage, providing inspiration to Dublin Arts Council in its mission to engage the community, cultivate creativity and foster life-long learning through the arts.

The home was originally built by prominent Columbus attorney Charles Krumm and his wife, Sarah. Eleanor and Andre Gelpi, founders of Swan Cleaners, purchased the home in 1947. Mrs. Gelpi, a pioneering businesswoman and local champion of the arts, made the residence famous through many gala events and celebrity guests she hosted in her home.

The city of Dublin purchased the property in 1999 and turned the home into a community center dedicated to the arts. Dublin Arts Center opened to the public on March 17, 2002 as the home of Dublin Arts Council. Dublin Arts Council leases the property at 7125 Riverside Drive from the city of Dublin.

Dublin Arts Center:  Lower Level
Dublin Arts Center:  Upper Level
Dublin Arts Center:  Main Level
Dublin Arts Center:  Exterior
Dublin Arts Council Open House

The Gelpi Family


Andre and Eleanor Gelpi purchased the home in 1947 for $50,000 (approximately $677,000 in 2018 dollars). At the time, both Andre and Eleanor were working for Swan Cleaners, the dry cleaning and laundry company that Eleanor had founded in 1937. Andre had previously served as a senior executive with F & R Lazarus and Co.; however, at the birth of their third son in 1945, Andre left Lazarus and took over his wife’s rapidly growing company. Eleanor cut back on her daily involvement with Swan Cleaners and devoted herself to raising their three sons.

The prominent location of the house along the Scioto River was perfect for parties both indoors and out, and it was well used throughout the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. The house was frequently the site for fundraisers and other arts and philanthropic events, but was also the scene of many family and social gatherings. More than 300 people were hosted indoors at the Gelpi’s annual Christmas parties. Invitations to the annual Fourth of July party were coveted. More than 600 guests would gather for an all-American cookout, a full dance band and an hour-long fireworks display. A number of celebrities attended these grand events over the years, including Audrey Hepburn, Jayne Mansfield, Perry Como and Mrs. Lou Gehrig. Many prominent Ohio politicians were also regular visitors to the home, including Congressman Chalmers P. Wylie and Governor James A. Rhodes.

An Artistic Legacy 

The life of this historic home has come full circle with its transformation into the Dublin Arts Center. Eleanor Gelpi, its longest resident, was a great supporter of the arts in Columbus, regularly attending performances and events in addition to the fundraisers she hosted here.

Eleanor devoted her time and energy to nearly every major arts institution in Columbus, holding positions on countless committees and boards of trustees, including the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, Ballet Met, Opera Columbus, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA). Eleanor Gelpi was also instrumental in saving historic 1928 movie palace, The Ohio Theatre, from demolition in 1969. Her lifelong passion for the arts and reverberating impacts are still enjoyed today.