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Overbrook/ St. Cecilia Acad. & Overbrook: Another Warner Home

Updated: Jun 15

4210 Harding Rd. Nashville, TN

Circa 1913. 2-story white brick Neoclassic revival mansion


Photo by Skye Marthaler


Overbrook was built in 1913 by Joseph Williams Warner (1865-1939) and Lillian Black Warner (1874-1944). They wed in 1897, and the Warners bought the land in 1910. The Warner estate was built on old Charles Bosley land and was (and remains) one of the largest undeveloped tracts of land in West Nashville on Harding Rd. Joe’s first wife was Mary "Mamie" Frances Duncan Warner (1870-1894) sadly died two years after their 1892 marriage. Her father was William and Carrie Duncan. Duncan had owned the Duncan Hotel in downtown Nashville on Cherry and Cedar St. The Warners moved from Spruce St. townhouse where the large Warner class lived. On land purchased 3 years earlier in 1910, Overbrook is a brick Neoclassic Revival style mansion that originally had 96 acres.


Joseph joined his father James C. Warner, in the iron business along with brothers, Percy and Edwin, and was president of Warner Furnace and Warner Iron Company (former Cumberland Furnace). He was also a director of Merchants Bank. He and his brothers also invested in a North Nashville cotton mill. The property was unusual because its large acreage was so close to Nashville. At some point, it acquired the nickname “White House.” The Warners sold the property the the Dominican Order and moved north to 3750 Whitland Ave.


Ten years later, in 1923, it was bought by St. Cecilia Congregation of the Dominican Order of Sisters of Charity and leased as a residence until 1936; whereupon Overbrook School was started. In 1961, St. Cecilia Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school started in the “White House,” and new buildings for Overbrook School and the establishment of Aquinas Junior College. The “White House” remains in use as the administrative building. The name Overbrook comes from the mansion’s position overlooking the brook that runs through the front of the property and into Richland Creek.


The Dominican Order of the Sisters of Charity maintained their Motherhouse near above current Metrocenter on the old Buena Vista site. The same groups also had been called to start the early practice of religious-affiliated hospitals.They opened St. Thomas Hospital in the original Ensworth mansion on Hayes St. NR 1984 See Buena Vista, Ensworth (Hayes St.)


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