According to the Ohio Historic Inventory Sheet, the Brewster Store may be the oldest commercial building in use in the Western Reserve, dating back to 1839.
The Brewster Store was one of Leander Starr’s projects. It is a rare example of a late Federal style brick commercial building, reminiscent of Boston architect Charles Bulfinch in its use of stepped gables, stone pilasters and insets, the roof balustrade and the gradation in scale of the first and second story windows. It features a recessed entry door with sidelights and transom, three 20-pane fixed windows, 9/9 windows, and original brick. A wooden wing was removed in 1908 when James Ellsworth bought and restored the structure. This wing was moved to 72 Maple Street.
The building originally housed Kent and Brewster’s Dry Goods Store, a business venture financed by Zenas Kent, of Franklin Mills, later Kent, Ohio, and managed by Anson A. Brewster, of Hudson. A born merchant with tireless zeal, Brewster rose from partner to sole owner and became one of Hudson’s most prominent businessmen for his day.
After a fire destroyed an older home in which the Brewster family resided, AA built the gothic mansion next door. Several wooden wings were added in the last part of the nineteenth century. Thus, this section of Aurora Street is often referred to collectively as the “Brewster Block.” The Brewsters’ only son died at age four, and the family business was eventually inherited by son-in-law, Duncan B. Beebe.
In 1962, an attempt to modernize the building caused a public outcry. Hudsonites gathered research and mobilized, and eventually were able to preserve the historic integrity of this prominent structure. Those who had worked to protect the store subsequently became the founding members of Hudson Heritage Association.