Jefferson – Louisville – Site 1 of 3
Host Committee: Vital Sites and The Brennan House
Event: Open House and Tours Celebrating the Brennan House 150th Birthday
Admission: $10 per person - Online here
Contact: Jessica McCarron
Event Info & Historic Site Features
Built in 1868, the Ronald Brennan House celebrated its 150th birthday last year! Join in the festivities when the house is open to the public for tours the weekend of May 18-19 ONLY. Explore this Victorian beauty and enjoy stepping back into time this spring. Proceeds from ticket sales ($10/person) will go towards the Brennan House Revitalization Fund. The Brennan House was built by tobacco merchant Francis Ronald and sold to Thomas Brennan in 1884. An equipment manufacturer and inventor who was originally from Ireland, Thomas Brennan (1838-1914) and his wife, Anna, had eight children who grew up in the house. Thomas Brennan received accolades for his inventions, including two prizes at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and he was co-owner and vice president of Brennan & Co., SouthWestern Agricultural Works, a manufacturer of farm machinery. The three-story Italianate style townhouse has 16-foot ceilings, stained-glass windows, hand carved marble and slate mantels, crystal chandeliers, an expansive veranda, six bedrooms, and was among the first homes in Louisville to have electric lights. The interior has been preserved with original interior finishes and lighting, and furnishings from the Brennan family's personal collection. Original items include family photographs, a signed Tiffany lamp, hand-carved furniture, a stained glass coat of arms by Louisville artist Bernard Alberts, and steamer trunks filled with world travel memorabilia. Two of the Brennan sons became doctors, and one of them, Dr. J. A. O. Brennan, added a north wing to the house in 1912 for medical office space with waiting and exam rooms. The medical office addition has been preserved with an exam table, equipment and medical volumes from the early 20th century. One of Dr. Brennan's sons continued to live in the house until his death in 1963, and the house was donated to the Filson Club, which sold to The Brennan House nonprofit in 1992. It is now managed by Vital Sites. The Brennan House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It is distinguished as an historic landmark that represents a thriving era in Louisville's cultural and social history, and survived urban renewal of the 1960s and early 1970s that destroyed nearly forty percent of the historic architecture in downtown Louisville.