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The Mansion (Ernie's Esquire, Phillips's Hall)

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Ernie's Esquire, Phillips's Hall
1927, Walker and Gillette, J. Walter Ketterer, project architect. 657 Pittsburgh Rd. (PA 8), 8 miles south of Butler

Sited at the top of a hill at the end of a long curving drive, this house built for T. W. Phillips Jr. is a rare local example of a large estate with grounds still intact. The forty-seven-room brick house was designed by a New York City firm famous for its Wall Street bank designs. Here, they produced a sleek interpretation of the Georgian style, employing undulating two-story window bays and an entrance recessed behind two-story Corinthian columns to enliven the facade. The house is reminiscent of the Newport, Rhode Island, home of 1886 designed by McKim, Mead and White for the Edgar family. It is solidly built, using fireproof materials and cement floors throughout, as in the firm's banks. Befitting a mansion, there is a calling system, multiple rooms for the servants, and appropriate outbuildings. The complex includes a red brick, two-story multicar garage and carriage house, a large L-shaped, two-story guesthouse adjacent to the pool, and an octagonal brick water tower. The surrounding 130 acres were planted with a variety of species native to western Pennsylvania. The Phillips family owned the estate until 1970, when it became a restaurant and hotel called Ernie's Esquire. A ceramics engineering company now owns the property and rents it for private functions.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "The Mansion (Ernie's Esquire, Phillips's Hall)", [Butler, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 178-178.

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