A 12-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion in Mount Vernon, once owned by a congregation of priests and brothers that served the African-American community, is on the market for $1,245,000.

Built in 1900, the 11,336-square-foot property features carpeted and hardwood floors, a commercial kitchen, a first-floor grand entry hall, library and a “butlers’ pantry.” Realtor Tracey Clark, of Monument Sotheby’s International Realty, said the 119-year-old home has been maintained for modern buyers and has not been listed for sale in nearly a century.


“For the amount of square footage you’re getting, it’s one of the best deals out there,” she said. “People have looked into it with the idea of living in it and running a business in it.”

The building is zoned commercial, which could be ideal for a bed and breakfast, hotel, private gathering space or restaurant, Clark said. But previous occupants have used it as a single family home, she said.

The Baltimore-based St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart transferred the building at no cost to a limited liability company in 2017, property records show. The Roman Catholic organization, dedicated to missionary work for African Americans, purchased the property in 1929 during a period in which religious organizations remained racially segregated, wrote Nathan Dennies of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation in an online fact sheet.

The order used the building for administrative and office purposes, even publishing a magazine dedicated to chronicling its services and the issues facing African Americans in the Jim Crow era.

Architect Charles Carson originally designed the building for Theodore Hooper, a cotton duck manufacturer and one of the city’s leading business magnates at the beginning of the 20th century. After Hooper’s death, elite owners such as merchant Richard White and lawyer James Clark Murphy inhabited the Gilded Age mansion before selling it to St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart.

Clark said with the historic character of the mansion intact, the property remains as desirable now as a century ago.

“You’ll never find another building like this,” she said.