CLEVELAND — Elephants, giraffes, dinosaurs, oh my! A Zillow listing for a home on Cleveland’s west side has gone viral not necessarily because of what’s inside the home, but instead, of what’s on the outside.
Located in the 3500 block of Bosworth Road in the West Boulevard neighborhood, Harry Larweh’s three-bedroom, three-bathroom Colonial was listed for sale for $162,000 late last week. In addition to boasting granite countertops and a marble backsplash, the home features some of Larweh’s greatest work: a hand-crafted giraffe, dinosaur, and a wood-clad elephant.
Larweh, a native of Ghana, is a self-taught sculptor and carpenter.
“It just happened,” Larweh said as he let out a hearty laugh. “I just got up and started doing it.”
Larweh has lived in Cleveland for 12 years and at his Bosworth Road home, which also servesas his art gallery, for the past nine. After initially sculpting and installing the concrete-encased giraffe and wooden elephant, Larweh began working on the 12-foot dinosaur.
“That’s my COVID project. I wanted something challenging,” Larweh said. “I thought, ‘let me create something bigger than the giraffes that I’ve been making.”
Larweh’s creations have long been turning heads, leading to impromptu selfies in front of his home. His initial goal was simple: bring art to the neighborhood.
“I wanted Cleveland to see something different,” Larweh said.
And now the whole world has seen it too. With plans on moving back to Ghana, Larweh consulted with Nicholas Reyes, a realtor for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Stouffer Realty. After a quick phone consultation, Reyes paid him a visit.
“No, there was no warning [about the sculptures out front],” Reyes said. “I got here and I was like, ‘wow! This is awesome.’ Obviously, the front yard is amazing. Once he took me inside, I was blown away.”
When the listing went live, the internet and Zillow itself took notice with Zillow’s verified Twitter account tweeting, “just when we thought we’ve seen it all.” As of 5 p.m. Monday, Larweh’s home had amassed more than 45,000 views on Zillow and more than 1300 saves.
“I think all theZillow views speak for itself and how much interest there is. We had an open house Saturday and there were people, other artists, that wanted to see his work — and the house too. They love everything that Harry does. He’s a true master of his trade. A lot of people are asking if Harry is going to be leaving any of his work behind. I know he wants to leave some of the stuff behind. Especially going back to Africa, he’s going to be packing a little lighter.”
As difficult to believe as it may be, Larweh’s artistry in the front of his home is surpassed only by his incredibly-detailed, hand-crafted show-stoppers inside his home.
Using mahogany imported directly from Ghana, Larweh’s creations, which include ornate sculptures, tables, benches, and an entertainment center, are truly a sight to behold. Sometimes his pieces can come together in a matter of days. Other times, however, it will take him several years.
“Back [in Ghana] we do everything by hand. When I came here and we used machines, I said, ‘oh, this is easier,’” Larweh said. “It’s ‘beautility.’ Beauty and utility: marry the two and then you see the outcome.”
Larweh, who sells many of his creations through his Facebook page, is accepting offers on his house as well as the art inside of it.
Reyes joked that he handles the showings of the home while Larweh handles the showings for the art.
“I was blown away by the artwork. I was little uncertain how people were going to take it. There’s always two sides to everything,” Reyes said. “I’m definitely surprised by the level of support that people are giving Harry and his artwork.”