The Brennan House

Historical Marker #2373 commemorates the Brennan House in Louisville.

Located at 631 South 5th Street, the Brennan House is the only historic home remaining on a street once lined with similarly grand homes - an oasis of Victorian refinement amid Louisville's downtown business district. The three-story brick, Italianate townhouse features six bedrooms, expansive side verandas, a period garden, and elegant interior finishes dating to the Victorian era.

While the architect is unknown, according to "The Encyclopedia of Louisville" the house's style is similar to those designed by renowned Irish architect Henry Whitestone. Constructed in 1868 by tobacco wholesaler Francis Slaughter Jones Ronald, the house was purchased in 1884 by Thomas Brennan for $12,000. It remained home to the Brennan family for seventy-five years.

Thomas Brennan was a native of Ireland who made his fortune as an equipment manufacturer and inventor. He and his wife, Anna Bruce, had nine children - eight of whom survived into adulthood and grew up in the house. Two of the sons became doctors. In 1912, one of them, Dr. J. A. O. Brennan added a waiting room, office and examining room as a north wing to the house. By 1962, only four of the Brennan children remained; two having returned from New York to live with Dr. Brennan. Out of the eight children, only three married and they were all childless.

Now a house museum, it is furnished with an original family collection of the most luxurious and opulent furniture and decorative arts of the day and features a preserved early twentieth century medical office.

Cite this Page:

Marianne Zickuhr, “The Brennan House,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 25, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/194.

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