Brooke Man­sion sold for $572K

Cana­dian cou­ple plans to re­store his­toric build­ing

The Community Connection - - NEWS - By Tony Phyril­las tphyril­las@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

BIRDSBORO >> The Brooke Man­sion has new own­ers who plan to re­store the 42room Vic­to­rian-era man­sion to its for­mer glory.

The three-story, 14,000-square-foot build­ing on three wooded acres was sold at auc­tion Sept. 29 for $572,000.

The new own­ers are Vi­neet and Twisha Tal­pade of Toronto, Canada.

More than 400 peo­ple at­tended the auc­tion, which also in­cluded the con­tents of the build­ing, but only a hand­ful were se­ri­ous po­ten­tial buy­ers of the man­sion when the bid­ding be­gan at 1 p.m. un­der a large tent set up on the Washington Street prop­erty.

Two in­ter­ested par­ties traded bids back-and-forth over two rounds — the first be­gin­ning at $400,000, and the sec­ond at $530,000. Af­ter the bid­ding reached $560,000, Horst Auc­tion­eers low­ered the in­cre­ments to $2,000.

The Toronto cou­ple made the high­est bid and be­came the new own­ers when the cur­rent own­ers, Peter and Marci Xe­nias of Lan­caster, de­cided to ac­cept the high bid.

Marci Xe­nias at­tended the auc­tion with her son Seth, but Peter was un­able to be at the event be­cause of health is­sues. But he was kept ap­prised of the bid­ding by his wife through Face­Time.

The man­sion is the work of renowned ar­chi­tect Frank Fur­ness and was com­mis­sioned in 1887 by in­dus­tri­al­ist Ed­ward Brooke II as a wed­ding gift for his bride, Anne Louise Clin­gan. Brooke was pres­i­dent of Brooke Iron Co. and a direc­tor of Birdsboro Steel.

The man­sion fea­tures 42 rooms, in­clud­ing 16 bed­rooms, 11 bath­rooms, a breath­tak­ing two-story en­try foy­ers with an open stair­case; 10 cus­tom-built work­ing fire­places; stained and leaded glass win­dows; a cir­cu­lar rose­wood li­brary with carved book­cases; a walk-in safe; an orig­i­nal wooden el­e­va­tor; and a huge wrap-around porch.

The struc­ture still re­tains 95 per­cent of the orig­i­nal Queen Anne ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures.

The en­tire con­tents of the man­sion — fur­ni­ture, an­tiques, ar­chi­tec­tural fix­tures, ori­en­tal rugs, art­work, books, china and glass­ware and as­sorted col­lectibles — were of­fered for sale start­ing at 9 a.m.

The auc­tion drew many peo­ple who had pre­vi­ously vis­ited the man­sion or had worked in the build­ing when it was a bed-and-break­fast.

The 19th cen­tury es­tate has had sev­eral own­ers through the years. The Brooke chil­dren sold the man­sion in the 1940s af­ter their par­ents died. The build­ing was used as a nurs­ing home for three decades.

Peter and Marci Xe­nias pur­chased the man­sion in 1994 and ren­o­vated the build­ing while liv­ing there and op­er­at­ing a bed-and­break­fast from 1994 to 2002.

Un­til Sat­ur­day’s auc­tion, the man­sion had been closed to the pub­lic ex­cept for a one-day open house May 20 that served as a fundraiser for the Women’s Club of Birdsboro.

The new own­ers said they plan to ren­o­vate the build­ing with the hope of open­ing it up as a pub­lic venue for events or pos­si­bly a be­dand-break­fast.

Un­der cur­rent Birdsboro zon­ing, the Brooke Man­sion can be used as a res­i­dence, a bed-and-break­fast, of­fices or a restau­rant.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Brooke Man­sion was sold at auc­tion for $572,000 to a cou­ple from Canada.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

In ad­di­tion to the sale of the build­ing, all of the con­tents in­side the Brooke Man­sion were also sold at auc­tion.

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