University of Georgia – President’s House

Athens, Georgia – Clarke County – As UGA starts Fall Semester, thought we would take a look at the President’s House, built in 1857. The house was privately owned until 1949, with some famous owners in its history. It’s considered the most elaborate antebellum home in town.
The house built for Colonel John Thomas Grant, a UGA graduate – he and his business partners made their money building railroads across several southern states.  The house cost a whopping $25,355 when built!

John T Grant (from Wikipedia)

In 1867, Benjamin Harvey Hill moved into the house and stayed here until 1883.  Hill had a political career that spanned many decades, ending up in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the U.S. Senate.

Benjamin Hill (courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

The house was sold to James White in 1883, and his family owned the house until selling it to the University System in 1949.  Fun fact – before the President’s House was acquired, whenever there were dignitaries in town, they were usually entertained in the mansions along Milledge Avenue!

1934 View of the House – only one thing has changed on the exterior since then…. (HABS, 1934)

Take a look at the house today, and you might see what has changed on the exterior.

UGA President’s House, July 2018

The staircase!  That’s what’s changed – from a single set of stairs to the horsehoe iron staircase we see today.  

Inside the house, the details are extremely elaborate – with a lot of renovation occurring during the Victorian era.  

Parlor, President’s House (NRHP Photo, 1970)a

I found a 1951 photo of UGA President Dr O.C. Aderhold, who lived here with his family between 1950 and 1967.  

Dr O.C. Aderhold Family, February 1951 (Vanishing Georgia Archives, UGA)

Today, the main floor of the house is used for official functions, with the private quarters upstairs.  

Truly an outstanding antebellum home in Athens – a town with so many beautiful old homes  Thanks for taking a look around the house, appreciate you reading the blog! 

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