One of America’s Most Revered Mansions Is Up For Sale
Owning One of the Most Stately Mansions in the U.S.
The Brooke Mansion, designed by renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness, is up for sale. The home, a stunning example of American Victorian architecture and one of America’s most revered mansions, is located in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. It was originally built by iron magnate Edward Brooke II, and was given to his wife as a wedding present.
The sixteen-bedroom, nine-bath, 13,677 square foot home has been featured in Architectural Digest and several other noteworthy publications. It features ornate woodwork and exquisite detail throughout, and is currently on the market for $1,640,000. Recently used as a bed and breakfast, the property is ready for continued operation or transformation back to a (rather large) single-family dwelling. Read on and take a look inside this stunning home now.
The Home and Location
As far as wedding gifts go, a forty-two-room home isn’t too bad. The Brooke Mansion features the aforementioned sixteen bedrooms and nine bathrooms, as well as ten custom, imported European fireplaces, an original wooden elevator, the original Victorian-era hardwood floors and wainscoting, and a rosewood, circular library.
The home was built in 1887 and has been very well taken care of over the years since. As much as ninety-five percent of the home’s original decoration and appointments have been lovingly preserved.
The mansion sits on a three-acre residential property that enjoys relaxed enough zoning for a variety of commercial uses. It is only three hours from the nation’s capital and New York City, and only an hour outside Philadelphia.
The Architect – Frank Furness
The home was designed by a rogue figure in Victorian architecture. Though many of Frank Furness’ buildings in Philadelphia have stood the test of time, he was considered a bit of an outsider during his day. His very unique architecture style pushed the limits of what was considered appropriate or fashionable by Victorian standards of the day.
The years between the end of the Victorian era and the end of the modern era were not kind to Furness’ style or to many of his buildings. Thankfully, though, many great examples of his architecture still exist, including this home.
The History of the Family and Town
The town of Birdsboro, PA was named for a pre-Revolution iron maker named William Bird who settled in the area and began making iron around 1740. Edward Brook and his brother George were his descendants, and started the Birdsboro Iron Foundry Company in 1867. The foundry eventually became a steel manufacturing company at the beginning of the twentieth century, and lasted in continuous operation until the 1980s.
As mentioned above, the Brooke Mansion was built as a wedding present for Edward Brooke II’s bride, Ann Louise Clingan, and the couple lived in the home for quite some time. The Brooke family enjoyed wealth, power, and influence that reached well beyond the walls of their massive home and the little town of Birdsboro.
Owning a Piece of History
Purchasing a one point six million dollar home is not a decision that should be taken lightly, but of course, one must consider what this mansion comes with. Consider its provenance; likewise, consider its history and the place of that history in the larger history of the town of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, and the U.S.
As if $1,640,000 wasn’t already a great price for an immaculately preserved sixteen bedroom, nine-bath Victorian architectural masterpiece, then consider the history and the stories that the walls, floors, and fireplaces could tell. Consider it an investment, regardless of how you choose to use the property.