Chinqua-Penn Plantation : a permanent, practical house

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer Lancaster Pena (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
William Moore

Abstract: This thesis examines Chinqua-Penn Plantation, a 1920s mansion located in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Once a private residence to Thomas Jefferson Penn and his wife, Beatrice Schoellkopf Penn, the home was donated to the State of North Carolina in the 1960s and was used as a historic house museum. After years of financial struggle caring for the house, the state chose to close the museum. The mansion, its outbuildings, and collection of decorative arts are now for sale. Most previous treatments of Chinqua-Penn have formed upon curiosity and wonder at its unique exterior and eclectic furnishings. This thesis presents the home as a historic text from which information and insight may be gleaned. It progresses through examination of exterior architecture, floor plan, interior décor, and grounds. In each chapter, the house is compared to others from a similar time period. This text presents a new system of classification for the spaces utilized within this domestic structure. It had previously been the norm to place areas of homes and their grounds within the categories of ?public? and ?private.? Chinqua-Penn contains myriad spaces used by owners, guests, and servants. The terms ?civic,? ?personal,? and ?support? are used in this discussion to better relate the meaning of these areas for their occupants. Of particular interest is the desire of the Penns to create a permanent home that was different from others. On the surface, the estate appears unique in its design and interior furnishings. Upon close inspection, it becomes clear that Chinqua-Penn has more in common with contemporary mansions than differences in its materials, separation of spaces, and décor.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Chinqua-Penn Plantation (Reidsville N. C.)--History, Historic buildings--North Carolina--Reidsville, Penn family, Penn Thomas Jefferson
Penn, Thomas Jefferson
Historic buildings -- North Carolina -- Reidsville
Chinqua-Penn Plantation (Reidsville, N. C.) -- History
Penn family

Email this document to