It’s not widely known but there are only 2 French Chateaux located in the Philadelphia area. One of them is located in West Whiteland Township and the other is in Gladwyne. The Chateau in Chester County was originally built and owned by Benjamin Rush II, a decedent of the signer of the Declaration of Independence by the same name. Apparently in 1928, Mr. Rush commissioned a famous master architect Edmund B. Gilchrist to design a county house in the French Chateau tradition for himself and his new bride and family on their Boot Road campus. After many meetings with Mrs. Rush in his Philadelphia office, Mr. Gilchrist made the final renderings, supervised construction and christened the new home “Autun”.
According to the PA Historic Registry, its design “possesses astonishing exterior and interior architectural integrity”. It is now 80 plus years old, has 7000 square feet of living space, 6 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms, built of stone and crowned by a tile roof more usually found in European landscapes. The study is large and richly appointed in dark paneled woods. If you look closely, you will find secret doors built into the bookcases that revolve and allow passage into adjacent rooms. Over the years, the chateau has changed from one large home to two private residences.
The chateau is nestled into 6 acres and surrounded by 8 carriage homes of similar design in a community known as Autun. You may find additional information on the property since it appears on the National Registry below.
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