History Of The Quail Mansion

Palazzo 1837 is located on the original Quail Acres Estate property in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

In 1811, William Quail, a very successful farmer and stock broker from County Down Patrick in Ireland, purchased 147 acres of land in Washington County, Pennsylvania. This property would become known as the Quail Acres Estate. William Quail left the property to his son, David Quail, who purchased additional land for the estate. Though the property expanded, it was not until David’s son, William McAlpine Quail, inherited the property that the Quail House was finally constructed.

The Quail Mansion as it stood over a century ago.

The Quail Mansion as it stood over a century ago. Notice the 3 family members on the front porch with their loyal dog pictured in the center. At the time, the 2 story porch featured custom-fabricated curtains that adorned this grand entrance and provided adjustable shade. Also pictured is a sidewalk leading toward what is now Route 19. The sidewalk is no longer there, nor are the large healthy trees. It is fascinating to imagine those who have inhabited this property and what has occurred here throughout its history.


Built in 1837, the Quail House is an excellent example of the colonial architecture of the time period. Complete with Greek Revival and Palladian-style architecture, the house is largely preserved. Interesting features of the home include: the plain stone lintels; elegant interior woodwork; the original blacksmith-forged iron lightning rods and door hardware; a regal stairwell banister imported from Europe and carved from one cherry tree; and double chimneys connected by a gable curtain.

Stairway banister carved from one cherry tree and imported from Belgium. During the period when the structure was built, Palladian styles were prevalent. Even the Presidential White House in Washington D.C. is an example of Palladian architecture. Thomas Jefferson was known to be instrumental in reviving the architectural style that was also often-used in ancient Rome. It is a tribute from one great civilization to another across the ages - in the American revival a unique rendition of a classic old Roman style.

Palladianism is based on symmetry, which the house dramatically displays with its front porch columns, window placement, and parallel chimneys. Many features from the original structure remain including the imported European hardwood floors and woodwork. At one time, the roof was covered entirely in clay tile shingles that the Quail family had imported from Belgium.

The large house contains three stairwells and many outbuildings, such as the Spring House, Carriage House, and barn, which still remain in use on the property. The house originally had a two story porch where the kitchen is now located. Although the porch is gone, the large pillars that sustained the structure are still evident in the kitchen.

Registered Landmark - Washington County History and Landmarks Foundation During its heyday, the Carriage House, which is located adjacent to the restaurant, had large bi-parting doors to accommodate the entrance of horses. The horses were utilized to draw the estate’s carriage as it was driven by the Carriage Master who was essentially the estate's chauffeur. He lived above the horses in the upper part of the structure, was well-dressed and was in charge of keeping the harnesses and carriage polished, as well as taking care of the horses.

Of the original 180 acres, 4.5 exist today, which provide a wonderful outdoor space for weddings and other events on the side terrace lawn.

In the early 1990's, Washington County Businessman, Jerry Polen, acquired the property and restored the house with respect to much of its original character. He and his wife, Nancy, continue to develop and look after the property with pride.

The original house was declared a Washington County Historic Landmark in 1991.

[Return to Top]


History Of Palazzo

The original Palazzo Ristorante, located in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, near Heinz Hall and the Benedum Center, has been a thriving downtown restaurant, catering to theater crowds for over a decade. Extensive family recipes and an unyielding devotion to their authenticity has been a foundation of the restaurant’s success.

In November of 2009, Palazzo 1837 Ristorante, opened its doors in the Quail Acres Mansion of Washington County. Palazzo 1837 continues to uphold the prevailing traditions of its downtown Pittsburgh counterpart.
Palazzo 1837 located in the Quail Mansion.
In addition to old-fashioned Northern and Southern Italian dishes, Palazzo 1837 features a subset of the Pittsburgh location’s spectacular wine list which won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2011.

In order to accommodate the rapid growth of Washington County’s business success, 1837 has adapted its menu to an expanding market. Notable enhancements include: Premium Black Angus Steaks from Arkansas; Specialty Racks of Pork Ribs braised in Bavarian Hefe-Weizen and Granny Smith Apples, and finished with a unique Whiskey Glaze; House-Churned, Sweet Cream Butter complimentary to our Rustic Paesano Bread; and our legendary Crab Hoelzel which has its origins in the prestigious Duquesne Club's hoelzel; Our rendition is served on a signature ice cold Italian marble slab, fabricated by the Executive Chef of 1837.

To match the rustic time period of the Quail Mansion, Palazzo 1837 champions classical Old-World European beers which pair deftly with 1837 dishes. Our classical beer list offers pairing recommendations. Based on style of beer, suggestions are offered for pairing with Steaks, Seafood, Pasta, Chicken, or Veal. Each Belgian and German beer is served in the authentic glassware designed by its particular brewery, some of which have been crafting beer for centuries dating back to the Middle Ages. Weihenstephan Hefe-Weizen from Bavaria, for example, is often a star beer featured on draught in the Tavern that comes from the “World’s Oldest Brewery” in operation since 1040 A.D.
Matt and Susanne Sager behind Tavern bar

Nostalgia for history and a high regard for the Colonial period of the Quail Mansion led to the construction of the Tavern bar out of antique marble and oak salvaged from an old school in Pittsburgh. Witness extraordinary bar-tending techniques in the quaint and rustic Tavern 1837. Experience our Pre-prohibition era cocktail list, featuring fresh-pressed juices, and muddled seasonal fruits and herbs. All Specialty Drink recipes are authentic to Tavern 1837. Our unique drink selection is composed in-house by a collaboration of the Mixologist, Executive Chef, and Restaurateur.

Palazzo 1837 Ristorante is honored to be the next chapter in the history of the Quail Mansion...

[Return to Top]