The Chantilly House was originally constructed in 1832 and served as a home for many years before it was abandoned. William Morrisette donated the house to Rural Studio in 1996. Mr. Morrisette had it disassembled into four parts and moved 15 miles from Greensboro to Newbern, AL, where it still stands today. The components of the home separated in preparation for the move were; the middle portion which was the original house, the two wings that were added later, and the inset porch that tied everything together with a covered exterior walkway. After Chantilly was reassembled in Newbern, the porch was removed to allow the roof to be more accessible for repairs to help further protect the building. In terms of renovations, windows were added to produce more daylight within the spaces and a great deal of work has been done on the interior to keep it functional.
Since being donated to the Studio, Chantilly has been used for several hand drawing and studio classes and additionally for storage, to help support the use of the Rural Studio designed Bodark Ampitheater. The Chantilly site as a whole is critical to the history and even the current culture of Newbern. The house shares its property with not only the amphitheater but also Samuel Mockbee’s memorial, Subrosa, and the William Christenberry photographed “Green Barn.”