In 1785 Captain William Warren, a Revolutionary War Soldier, purchased 304 acres of land. This purchase included the 100 acres upon which Warrenwood Manor now sits. It wasn’t until 1856 that descendants of Captain Warren, John Fouche Warren and Samuel Wilcox Warren, would commission the construction of Warrenwood.
Warrenwood is one of three Gothic villas, including the Helm-Gentry House and the Mound Cottage, constructed between 1852 and 1856 in the Danville area. All three homes were modeled after the Elley Villa of Lexington and roughly based on sketches published by A. J. Downing and A. J. Davis. The builder of these villas is unknown, but they were probably designed and built by the same architect due to their similarities. It is believed possible that the houses were constructed by Robert Russell Jr., a local Danville builder, who is attributed with the construction of most of the early brick structures in the area.
The home rests on a foundation of stone allowed to settle for two years before the bricks were laid. The dark red bricks that make up the home’s exterior and interior walls were burned on the property and laid four deep in the thinnest parts of the walls. Lumber, cut from the property, was used to construct rooms measuring eighteen feet square and ceilings fourteen feet high. The front door, surrounded by leaded, Venetian glass opens to a large hall lit by two Venetian hall lamps. Solid walnut details include doors throughout the house, window facings, massive mantels and the banister ascending to the third floor.
As we learn more about the house, we will share it on this blog.