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VOL. 125 | NO. 77 | Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Annesdale Mansion Listed for $1.2 Million

By Tom Wilemon

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Annesdale, one of the city’s most historic properties and grandest homes, is on the market as a residential listing. The Italianate villa, built in 1850, sits on seven acres across from the University Club in Midtown.  Photo: Tom Wilemon

Annesdale, commonly referred to as the Snowden Mansion, is on the market for $1.2 million.

Ed Beasley of Sowell & Co. Realtors has the listing, which includes the Italianate villa built in 1850 and seven acres of landscaped grounds. The mansion at 1325 Lamar Ave. is across the street from the University Club.

Listing the property is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Beasley. With each showing, he discovers something new.

“The other day, I decided I would walk the entire perimeter,” he said. “There was a whole bank of daffodils in bloom two weeks ago. It’s always changing.”

The grounds include carefully planted trees, a fountain, an outdoor fireplace, sculptural elements and a reflecting pool.

Annesdale is a rarity in an urban setting. It’s a historic mansion built to a large scale that still has the grounds to go with it. The house encompasses 8,646 square feet, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

Beasley described Annesdale as a very livable home.

“It’s in good solid condition,” he said. “There is an old kitchen. It’s old by our standards. It’s a 1950s St. Charles kitchen that was done literally 50 or 60 years ago. The rest of the house has just been kind of lovingly maintained.”

The house has had several showings, he said, including a couple of people who seemed to have serious interest.

The house was built in 1850 by Dr. Samuel Mansfield, a wholesale druggist.

In 1869, Robert C. Brinkley bought it as a wedding gift for his daughter, Annie Overton Brinkley, who married Col. Robert Bogardus Snowden.

Three nearby neighborhoods, Annesdale Snowden, Annesdale Park and Rozelle Annesdale get their names from the property.

Today, the house is owned by the estates of a brother and sister, Robert G. Snowden and May Snowden Todd.

Robert Snowden and Todd both died in 2006. But Todd’s husband, Thomas Hardy Todd Jr., continued to live in the house until his death last June.

One of Annesdale’s unique features is a lookout tower. Inside, it has marble and hardwood floors, handsome paneling, a curving staircase, elaborately painted ceilings, ornate plaster and the original light fixtures and mantles.

The old craftsmanship even extends to the bricks, which were handmade from clay excavated in digging the basement.

“There’s a black-and-white marble floor in the entrance hall,” Beasley said. “One of the things that amazes me is there are no cracks in that marble floor.”

Pictures of the house, the curved staircase and other details can be viewed at www.sowellandco.com. Annesdale is one of two Midtown residential listings Sowell has on its website that are priced in excess of $1 million. The other property is 1554 Peabody Ave., listed at just over $1 million.

Annesdale has 13 rooms, including five bedrooms, four full baths and one half-bath. There are a total of nine fireplaces.

The house also has a working elevator.

Originally, the rear of the house was designated for staff, but the Todd family converted those areas fur use as a laundry room, butler’s pantry and dark room, Beasley said.

Furnishings from the house were sold at an estate sale in October. They included century-old antiques too large to fit into most modern homes.

Robert C. Brinkley built the original Peabody hotel in 1869, the same year he bought Annesdale for his daughter.

Brinkley also donated the land for Saint Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. His other business interests included banking and a railroad.

PROPERTY SALES 49 123 2,388
MORTGAGES 77 171 2,778
BUILDING PERMITS 174 284 6,352
BANKRUPTCIES 32 72 1,859