The Brennan House on 5th Street in Louisville, Kentucky was open for holiday tours today and we took the opportunity to visit. Built in 1868 by a wealthy tobacco trader, the house was sold in 1884 to Thomas Brennan, a farm equipment manufacturer whose sawmill had won first award at the 1868 Southern Exposition in Louisville. The home was subsequently in the Brennan family for two generations. Thomas Brennan and his wife had eight children, none of whom bore any children themselves. After the last son ofThomas Brennan, a physician who practiced medicine from a two room office addition, died in 1963, the home was left to a local historical organization in 1969 and it is now operated by a separate not-for-profit that is a branch of that organization. The last mansion left in what was once a row of 5th Street mansions that were built as Louisville's downtown expanded southward from the Ohio River, the Brennan home is notable not only for it's opulence and scale, but also for the fact that all 7000+ objects in the home's collection are original to the Brennans and represent nearly 85 years of occupancy by the family. Attached are photos of the massive and opulent walnut bedroom suite by J.W. Davis -- a local furniture manufacturer -- purchased by Thomas Brennan either at the 1868 Southern Exposition or the 1876 Philadelphia Exhibition (there is some confusion) and moved to the Brennan House from his earlier home. My wife, Lauri (5'7"), is in a couple of the photos to give a sense of scale to these pieces. The suite consists of the immense 12' tall bed, a dresser, a washstand, and a night stand (not shown). In the entry hall downstairs, is the largest and most elaborate hall tree I have seen in over 44 years collecting, also by J.W. Davis. If you are ever in Louisville, be sure to contact the Brennan House via their website http://thebrennanhouse.org
and arrange a visit. Very nice people on staff.