Atlanta, GA – Time to admire a few more old mansions around Buckhead, specifically around Peachtree Heights Park and Tuxedo Park. We looked at several a couple of weeks ago, but there are so many great old mansions this is going to be more than a post or two! Most of the area didn’t start developing until the early 1900s, so they may not be the oldest homes in Atlanta, but they have that “wow” factor!
Not far from the Governor’s Mansion (built in 1968 on the site of a former country home) is the Willis Jones house, built in 1920. Very stately place! Interestingly, this house was moved from Brookwood a little over a mile or so to this new location. In old pictures of the house, the upstairs windows all have awnings on them. I’m told this was the one time home of the Atlanta Historical Society.
The Willis Jones House was moved from Brookwood to Buckhead
Directly across the street from the Governor’s Mansion is the English-Chambers House, built in 1930. Also known as Rosewood, it’s the longtime home of Anne Cox Chambers. This house was designed by famed architect Philip Trammell Shutze, there’s a big extension built on the back of this 10,000 SF house.
Anne Cox-Chambers is a really interesting person. Her family owns a media conglomerate – and she served as Ambassador to Belgium under Jimmy Carter, was a Coca-Cola board member, and supports many educational and animal welfare causes. I read an interview from a few years back, she has 7 dogs! I asked my grandmother, who’s about the same age, about Anne Cox-Chambers. She immediately said “oh, the girl who owns the newspaper! Yes, her husband lived right by us right after the war”. Small world!
The Swan House, above, may be one of the most photographed homes in Buckhead, or maybe all of Atlanta. This was the Buckhead home to Edward and Emily Inman, build on 28 acres in 1928 by architect Philip Trammell Shutze. Their prior home, in Ansley Park, burned in 1924.
Mr. Inman died 3 years after moving in; however, Mrs. Inman lived in the house until her death in 1965. The house, and many contents, were acquired by the Atlanta History Center. It serves as a house museum showing life in the 1920s and 1930s, and has quite a few original Inman family pieces. Some know it from “The Hunger Game” films. So how did it get the name Swan House? There are many swans incorporated in the interior and exterior of the home.
Mrs. Inman invited her family to move in with her after Mr. Inman’s death, so she had a houseful, including grandchildren. There are many great stories about the family, so it’s worth going to tour the house. One that I have read about is that she wouldn’t let the grandchildren use the main staircase, she made them use the back stairs – she was afraid the kids would wear out the winding staircase!
The big white home above is from noted architect Neel Reid, built in 1922. It had a major renovation from Spitzmiller & Norris. This house sits way back from the road and has quite a commanding presence.
The imposing house above was the home of P.C. and Helen McDuffie. The house was built in 1922 by noted architect Neel Reid, and at 9500 square feet, one of the biggest residences he built. P.C. McDuffie (an attorney) developed the nearby neighborhood of Garden Hills in the roaring ’20s. They had 5 children, and there was a separate apartment for the parents at the end of a hallway in the house (so they could get away from 5 children!). The McDuffies were noted for hosting a Christmas dinner for newsboys over the years, and Mr. McDuffie stayed active in Atlanta legal and business until his death in 1964. It was recently for sale, so here are a couple of inside photos:
The Henry Newman House above was designed by another leading architectural firm, Pringle & Smith. It has a more Federal style to it. Lucky for us, this house is also for sale (for just $4.7 million dollars), and here are a couple of inside pictures to look at:
Finally, while this one isn’t the largest house, I absolutely love the Jesse Draper house below. It’s another Neel Reid designed house. I just love EVERYTHING about this house! What was really interesting to me as I researched this house, was just how amazing the original owners of this house were. Mr. Draper was a founding member of the Atlanta Boys Club. His wife, Constance Knowles Draper, was a founding member of the Peachtree Garden Club, and became a partner in a landscape architecture firm.
Hope you enjoyed getting to look at a few more Old Buckhead Mansions! Thanks so much for taking time to read the blog, I sure do appreciate it!