HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The latest addition at Burritt on the Mountain — the 7,819-square-foot Baron Bluff building — will give the historic park atop Monte Sano a large covered space for entertainment and educational activities and to rent to the public for weddings, family reunions and business meetings.
The view from the facility, which will have two wrap-around porches, will be “incredible”, said Caroline Kelly, Burritt’s development director. “It will be the only place for a large event that’s available to the public where you can see the city lights.”
The building is scheduled to be open by early October, Kelly said.
Its ballroom will accommodate 250 for a seated dinner or 300 theater-style for professional productions and educational programs. The building will have architectural elements that reflect those of the long-gone Hotel Monte Sano, Kelly said.
The original goal of the Baron Bluff capital campaign was $2.6 million, and $3 million was raised, she said.
“The city is contributing $1.3 million towards the construction of Baron Bluff,” said Leslie Ecklund, the CEO of Burritt on the Mountain. “The Burritt Museum Association raised the other $1.7 million.”
The Burritt property is owned by the city of Huntsville.
The building is named for Bob Baron, president and CEO of Huntsville-based Baron Services, and his wife, Phylis, for their generous donation to the campaign, Kelly said.
Burritt on the Mountain, a 167-acre public museum and historic park, includes the mansion of Dr. William Burritt that’s used for exhibits, restored 19th century houses and outbuildings to depict rural farm life between 1800 and 1900, and a barnyard with animals.
Burritt was called to the hotel to treat a guest from St. Louis, Josephine Drummond, who was ill, said Kelly. Drummond fell in love with the doctor and proposed. The couple was married for more than 35 years, according to Kelly, and lived in St. Louis. Burritt returned to his hometown when his wife died and built the mansion. He willed the land and the home to the City of Huntsville in 1955 at his death. “It became Huntsville’s first museum,” Kelly said.