Mansion to open as nursing home Design suggests bed and breakfast

February 22, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Brookfield Manor, the Middleburg mansion that James E. Rowe renovated into a residence for the elderly, will be one-third filled when it opens March 1.

One couple from the New Windsor area, separated for the past six months in two nursing homes, already have moved their cherry bedroom set into one of the freshly painted and decorated downstairs bedrooms.

About three other people have said they will move in on opening day, Mr. Rowe said.

He showed more than 100 people through the mansion on Middleburg Road, near the Frederick County line, during an open house yesterday and Saturday.

Mr. Rowe, a registered nurse and state regional health services coordinator for Western Maryland, will manage the nursing home, which resembles a bed and breakfast inn.

Brookfield Manor sits on 6.5 acres with a view of the Catoctin Mountains.

The house, with seven bedrooms and beds for 15 residents, was built in 1895. It later became Brookfield Manor Nursing Home, which closed in 1975.

Mr. Rowe's mother worked at the nursing home while he was growing up. One of the former owners, Phyllis D. Buhrman, left the mansion to Mr. Rowe's mother, who lives in another house on the grounds.

With help from family and friends, Mr. Rowe has worked for months to remove the institutional green and white paint and tiles of the former nursing home. Labor and materials, including a sprinkler system, were installed.

He has transformed the building into an elegant, comfortable home with stained glass windows, high-poster beds, specially made curtains in every room and antique pictures on the walls.

"It's going to be a very large family setting," he said. He expects all the beds to be filled by May.

Residents must be ambulatory. For $1,200 to $1,700 a month, depending on the rooms they choose, they will receive meals and laundry service, planned social events and assistance from a round-the-clock staff, Mr. Rowe said.

Mr. Rowe, who lives nearby, will be on call 24 hours, and a local doctor has agreed to make house calls, he said.

The manor even will have "a family dog," but the pet won't be chosen until all residents move in and have a say in the choice, Mr. Rowe said.

Residents may bring their own pets if the animals meet certain criteria.

"It's going to be a family place," he said.

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