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August 7, 2017

Warrenton could decide Brentmoor’s future Tuesday

File Photo/Cassandra Brown
The Brentmoor Trust, a new nonprofit, proposes a five-year agreement with town to try another Civil War museum in the Italianate house at 173 Main Street.
Brentmoor Property
• Size: 3.06 acres

• Where: Main and North Calhoun streets, Warrenton.

• Owner: Town of Warrenton.

• Purchased: For $460,000 in February 1999 for development of John S. Mosby Museum.

• House: Brentmoor, 4,200-square-foot Italianate, built in 1859, converted to museum with donations and grants.

• Visitor center: Two-story brick structure, which the town built in 2006 at 33 N. Calhoun St., behind Brentmoor.

• Assessed value: $1.12 million total for county tax purposes. Property is tax-exempt.

• Appraised value: $1.17 million for the visitor center and historic Brentmoor in January 2017. 

• Estimated market value: $595,000 for Brentmoor in May 2017; with bathroom and other improvements, possibly $750,000.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
After almost two years of deliberations, Warrenton’s council this week could decide the future of town-owned Brentmoor, a Main Street home that housed the defunct John S. Mosby Museum.

The town council will consider two options Tuesday night:

• Subdivide the Mosby House property from the Warrenton-Fauquier Visitor Center and sell it. The house could bring $595,000 without improvements, according to a recent assessment by Allen Real Estate owner Joseph K. Allen Jr.

• Enter a management agreement with a nonprofit to operate it as a museum.

Brentmoor, an Italianate home at 173 Main St., could sell for up to $750,000 — with the addition of bathrooms and a kitchen, according to Mr. Allen’s assessment. Extensive renovations for the museum removed those rooms from the house.

Central Virginia Appraisal Service of Henrico County in January estimated the house’s “as is market value” at $574,000 — slightly less than Mr. Allen’s projection.

The town in 1999 bought the property for $460,000. The museum group restored Brentmoor to 19th-century conditions, removing a kitchen addition and bathrooms, while upgrading the electrical system and installing geothermal heating and cooling.

But, the museum opened only briefly a few years ago.

Over the last couple of years, town officials have struggled with the vacant building’s fate. Some council members want to sell it; some want to give a Civil War museum another chance under new management.

The council last month received a draft agreement from the “Brentmoor Trust,” which proposes forming a nonprofit organization to manage the house as a history/cultural center for five years.

> Document at bottom of story

The organization would agree to pay $8,345 annually for Brentmoor’s operating expenses.

Former Town Councilman Birge Watkins, who also volunteered on the previous Mosby museum board, co-chairs the proposed Brentmoor Trust with Robert Dyer.

But, at least 102 town residents support the sale of both the Brentmoor and the adjacent visitor center building in 2006, according to a petition circulated by Warrenton resident Dink Godfrey.

> Petition at bottom of story

“It is time for this council to rid the town of an eighteen year failed project and move the Visitor’s Center to a more accessible and visible location,” Mr. Godfrey wrote in his letter to the town.

The council will discuss Brentmoor at a work session at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7.

The seven-member board could vote at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Mosby House Visitor's Center Petition August 2017 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Town Council Work Session agenda 8717 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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BJ · August 8, 2017 at 7:03 am
Yes, sell it. This will be a beautiful home for someone.
Rover 530 · August 7, 2017 at 7:53 pm
Sell the property and move on.
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