You are here
Aurora (The Pink House, Penn Homestead)
This large two-story frame Italianate house was built for Thomas Jefferson Penn, a wealthy farmer, merchant, and tobacco manufacturer. Aurora is a fashionable but conservative interpretation of Italianate with roots in traditional Virginia architecture. The square house is composed of identical front and rear units each covered by a low-hipped roof and linked by a central section with doors on each side. Scalloped bargeboards decorate the wide eaves of the roof and clustered chimneys rise from the front section's roof. The unusual double entrance door with two glazed leaves is centered between long windows. In a recent renovation, the dwelling's lacy, cast-iron front porch was replaced with a one-story Doric porch. Penn's tobacco operations were even more successful than those of the nearby Reynolds Homestead (PT10). Payrolls of his tobacco company were handled from the one-story, three-bay frame office in front of the house. Like the residence, it has scalloped trim on the eaves. The years before and after the Civil War were prosperous, but lasted only until the railroad bypassed the nearby small community of Penns Store in the early 1880s. The family eventually moved to Danville and to North Carolina, where some of them continued to manufacture tobacco products until their company was swallowed by J. B. Duke's American Tobacco Company.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.