No expense was spared when this home was built for Dr. John Sloan. It took nearly two years to build. Having had only three previous owners prior to
becoming an Inn, it still retains much of its original grandeur. The
double pier mirrors from floor to ceiling in the parlor and dining rooms were
built in France specifically for the house. With the original winding
mahogany staircase with cherry balustrade, twelve foot ceilings on the first and
second floors, original ten foot doors and original floors and moldings, this
home is an incredible showplace.
The brick, exterior is eighteen inches thick, with the basement walls and floor lined in half inch glass as a vapor barrier. The house itself was then built within the framework of the brick, creating a insulation barrier. It was one of the first homes in America to have a central heat and air system which can still be seen in the walls of the rooms, with grates at floor and ceiling levels. The convex windows at the front of the house and most of the gaslight fixtures are original.
Dr. and Mrs. Sloan left the house to their only daughter Annie, who married Rear Admiral George Augustus Bicknell, whose father was a judge and congressman in Indiana. Admiral Bicknell was key in the transition from wooden to steel ships. He installed a copper pipe intercom system from an old naval ship. It remains in place and functions throughout the entire house. The large cupola was added by Admiral Bicknell in the late 1800s for a better view of the Ohio River.
Daily Tribune-January 4th, 1850- "Speaking of fine dwelling houses reminds us that we neglected to notice the draft of a splendid mansion, laid upon our table a few days since by I. P. Smith, Esq., architect, &c. We mean the draft was laid upon our table, not on the mansion. The house is to be built early in the season for Dr. Sloan, on the corner of Main and Upper Sixth street, and if the design of the architect is followed out it will combine beauty with comfort and convenience to an extent not surpassed by any other dwelling in that, the Court end of the city."