Brooke Mansion sold for $572K
Canadian couple plans to restore historic building
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.
The Brooke Mansion was sold at auction for $572,000 to a couple from Canada.
In addition to the sale of the building, all of the contents inside the Brooke Mansion were also sold at auction.