During its long history, the Barton Mansion has been a private home, a polio treatment center, a sanitarium and a nursing home. Barton Mansion Heights is a turn-of-the-twentieth-century residential quarter of the city of Richmond, Virginia. The first of a number of private and speculative developments outlying the city’s Northside, it was touted as a haven for the renter class of managers and clerks, for whom easy terms would finance first houses and electric rail service would give quick access to the city center.
In 1890, James Barton, the developer of Barton Heights, built a 4200 Square foot Victorian home. Situated on eight acres, the home had a 3 story tower with a bell shaped roof and was covered in dog eared cedar shingles. In 1920, Mr. Palmitary, a Richmond lawyer, bought the home with the intention on starting a home for unwed mothers. The result was an enveloping 12,000 square foot stucco structure with a wrap around porch and a porte-cochere (covered carriage entrance). Only the tower of the original structure was unaltered. The building reopened in 1922 as the Terrace Springs Osteopathic institute, a polio hospital.
By 1928, business was so good that the owners decided to add more patient bedrooms and a better operating theater. By the 1940’s the building had become home to the Terrace Springs Sanitarium, and served as an asylum and private rest home until the 1970’s. The building then became a nursing home. In 2001 when the building was closed by the City, the roof had been bad for many years. In 2014 when the current owners bought the building, it was rotted and ready to collapse in several locations.