The City of Manassas has completed the purchase of Annaburg Manor at 9201 Maple Street.

The purchase adds 3.65 acres to the city’s parkland and an opportunity for an interested non-profit to restore Annaburg Manor, the 1892 home of Robert Portner, to its former beauty.

Annaburg Manor was the “center of beauty and interest” in this area during that time period, with 35 rooms, electricity, and reportedly, one of the first homes in the country equipped with mechanical air-conditioning. Portner’s designs in air-conditioning, artificial cooling and ice making machines would later contribute to the technology used in today’s air-conditioning systems.

Annaburg has a long history as a recreational destination. Robert Portner, the Prussian-born entrepreneur and Alexandria brewer who built Annaburg as a summer retreat, generously enabled his neighbors to enjoy what was essentially a town park long before parks existed. After Robert and his wife Anna Portner passed away and the house was no longer occupied, residents recalled the grounds as a place to stroll, take photographs, and skate on the frozen ponds in winter. Residents and visitors also enjoyed attending the town’s Dairy Festival, 4th of July events, and even church baptisms in the estate's pond.

In the 1960s, two wings of the manor, which have since been removed, were constructed and Annaburg became a nursing home and rehabilitation center. The facility was managed by what is now Novant Health UVA Health System, which currently operates the Caton Merchant House assisted living facility located adjacent to Annaburg Manor. In the last few years, Annaburg Manor has been used mostly as a place for storage.

“Once open, this new public park will be a great place for picnics and enjoying a nice day,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “The City is looking forward to receiving public input into the master planning process for this new park.”

“Novant Health UVA Health System is pleased that the sale of this beautiful property will continue to contribute historical value and use as a green space serving residents and visitors alike,” said Ian McDonald, Prince William Hospital Board of Trustees.

Annaburg Park will open within the next few months.

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