Atlanta, GA – There are so many great old Buckhead mansions to share, I’m going to make this 2 posts. This post will concentrate around the Tuxedo Park neighborhood. There are some big old houses throughout the area, and these are a few that I really enjoy going by.
Inman Park, Atlanta – Fulton County – This is Atlanta’s first streetcar suburb, begun in 1889. Joel Hurt developed around 119 acres, and named it for John Inman. The large Victorian homes here were built for city business leaders, such as Asa Candler, owner of Coca-Cola. The variety of house styles around Inman Park makes it fun to walk around. Here are a few great ones I enjoy walking by in Inman Park. Being right in Atlanta, it was quiet walking around on a pretty afternoon, and saw so many people sitting outside on their front porches.
This amazing Queen Anne house above is the Beath-Dickey House, built in 1896. As you can see, it’s a big house with 15 rooms! Most of the lots here are pretty narrow, so the houses tend to keep going and going in the back. This house has a story, more on that in a little bit.
Big Victorian houses are fun to photograph, and inside they’re such a departure from earlier periods. This one above, it’s a BIG house. To get an idea of how big this is, here’s a side view of the house….it keeps going, and going…..
This is the Charles R. Winship house, built in 1893 (below). It’s now operating as a B&B. I think I startled the people on the front porch when I appeared by the hedges and started taking pictures, sorry about that! It’s called the Sugar Magnolia B&B, and you can see more of the house on their website.
Coca-Cola keeps cropping up whenever you research homes around Inman Park. The home below was the home of Ernest Woodruff, who led a syndicate and bought Coca-Cola rom the Candler family in 1919. This house is really pretty at night, lots of stained glass windows. And it’s another really big house.
Woodruff later moved to this house, designed by architect Walter T Downing, in the English variety. It’s just one street over from his old house. Don’t let the picture deceive you, this is another ginormous house.
I mentioned Asa Candler built a home here. His house, Callan Castle, was built 1902-3, by architect George E Murphy. This house is one of the biggest in Inman Park at 14,000 square feet. I couldn’t quite figure out what style to call it, it’s built in a period when styles were changing from Victorian, so I’d call it some Victorian, some Classic Revival. The Candlers lived here until 1916, when they build a house in nearby Druid Hills. Like how the name of the house is on the gate!
This house underwent a lot of renovation a few years ago, and it’s back in tip top shape. The roof of this house looks like tiles, but turns out it’s tin. And they’re painted Coca-Cola red! Another view of Callan Castle, from across the street:
Inman Park is the site of Callan Castle, built for Asa Candler of Coca-Cola fame
Now as much as I love all the big homes, there are some great cottages and bungalows throughout the neighborhood.
Another great cottage below:
The styles in Inman Park are part of the neighborhood’s charm. The house below is considered “Romanesque Revival” architecture. To me, it just looks like a miniature castle. It was built in 1904. Took this picture during the winter, thus no leaves out on the trees.
This beautiful house below is the King-Keith house, built for George E. King in 1889. It was a B&B for a while. It’s all the Victorian/Queen Anne elements, and love all the colors on this house.
The house below has so many things I love! Wrap around porch, the trim and detail in this house!
This one below caught my eye, with turrets and all.
The yellow house below might be my favorite one so far. There’s so much character here! See that butterfly banner on the porch? That is the symbol for Inman Park.
Another great one below, what an inviting front porch!
Finally, we get to the home of Joel Hurt – well, his second home in Inman Park, built in 1904. As you can see, this one is currently under a major renovation – can’t wait to see how this mansion looks after this! Revival Construction will have a tour of the house sometime in the future, can’t wait to check it out! It’s hard to get a photo of this house with the trees, etc, but looking forward to seeing it progress.
Know this was a long post, but so much to share in Inman Park! Thanks so much for reading the blog, I sure do appreciate it! If you use Instagram, check us out @oldgeorgiahomes.
Historic West End, Atlanta – Fulton County. I always enjoy Victorian homes, and had the chance to visit The Wren’s Nest – the long time home of Joel Chandler Harris, who is best known as the author of the Uncle Remus children’s stories (Br’er Rabbit!). Now a house museum, this home has been preserved in the early 1900s. Many original pieces remain, which always makes for an interesting visit. Jeri was my tour guide here, and she is one of those gifted guides who can bring a house to life as you walk through it.
The Historic West End in Atlanta was not even a part of Atlanta than when the family moved to this 5 acre farm around 1880. It was a rural area, and one of the first integrated areas around Atlanta. The Harris family had 9 children (6 survived to adulthood), and the property was originally known as Snap Bean Farm. While I knew about the children’s stories, it was fascinating to learn about the family and the history in this home.
First off, the front porch! Loved the Victorian details on it. Joel Chandler Harris often did his writing out on the porch. Granted, it was much quieter in the 1800s without cars driving by and planes flying overhead. After admiring the porch, I was ready to go in and see this place!
The photo above shows an editor’s desk from The Atlanta Constitution (he worked there for 24 years), but over the mantle – that’s how the house got it’s name. The Wren’s Nest. That’s the old mailbox up on the left of the mantle, and around 1900 wrens were building a nest in there, and the house became known as The Wren’s Nest. There’s a replica of it on the front porch and sure enough, wrens have built a nest in it too! The kids put up a second mailbox so the birds would not be disturbed.
The living room is probably the most grand room in the house, with 6 stained glass windows in it. I loved seeing it decorated for Christmas, and those wreathes in the windows. What a great room. You get a sense too of how Victorian this house is inside. Wallpapers in every room, etc. The chandeliers are what I call “duel fuel” – they have a couple of electrified lights, and then a couple of gas lights all on the same fixture.
This is the family room, with many family photos. One thing I learned, Joel Chandler Harris was friends with Theodore Roosevelt and went to the White House. And the house has been in a movie! Walt Disney filmed “Song of the South” there in 1946.
The large center hall in the house contains some of the family’s books. Who knew that Br’er Rabbit had been published in 29 languages? I stopped to look at this piano, the candles on it caught my attention. Then again, you’d need them in the pre-electricity days!
This bedroom is known as the girls’ room. They used the window to the left of the bed to walk out on the wraparound porch in order to get to the outhouse!
The Joel Chandler Harris bedroom has been left exactly as it was when he passed away in 1908. This was one of the stipulations of the house being turned into a museum, and there’s no entry into this bedroom. He did not like the addition of the bathroom to the house, and preferred the outhouse! The crib was used by several generations of the family. Neat to see a 1908 time capsule of a room!
The dining room was an addition to the house. See that big table and chairs? They’re from Sears, and originally purchased for $25. Yes, $25!
The oil cloth floor covering in the dining room – I’ve only seen one other one in my house tours so far. This was a popular type floor covering in the 19th century.
The Wren’s Nest is a great opportunity to learn more about Joel Chandler Harris, and to get a look inside a Victorian house. It’s open Tuesday thru Saturday, and there’s children’s storytelling on Saturdays.
Thanks so much for coming along on the tour, I really appreciate your reading the blog!
As much as I enjoy looking at the big old houses around Georgia, the cottage and bungalow is another form of house I really like. And I’m a sucker for a great front porch! Be it a raised cottage, craftsman bungalows, etc – I love the variety! Here are some that I particularly enjoyed over the last few months, and several photos I haven’t had a chance to publish before. It’s hard to find one particular style that I like best, I can appreciate them all.
Now the Victorian Cottage – and the many varieties of it, are always favorites to see.
Another great one in Candler Park, check out that porch. So much potential here.
Even famous cottages, like FDR’s Little White House at Warm Springs are a treat to see. You can check out the previous post on this for a full tour of the property and grounds.
And of course summertime means beach time for many folks, and the beach cottage style is always a favorite!
The variety of old cottages and bungalows around Georgia is just amazing.
One of the trends in the 1920s-1940s was to build much smaller homes than in the past. The Tudor style cottage below isn’t large, but has some big curb appeal!
Hope you enjoyed taking a look at some different bungalows and cottages that I’ve seen around Georgia. Thanks so much for checking out the site – I appreciate it!
West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta – Alright, time to see more of this house! And yes, the pic above is the back of the house, which kinda looks like the front of a house. That’s how Shutze, the architect, built houses. Another one he built just down the street is the Swan House, part of Atlanta History Center. Same thing – is it the front or back of the house?
So I saved the most surprising downstairs room for y’all. As we were touring, I heard someone ask in hushed tones “Are we going in the Menaboni Room?”. Huh? What’s a Menaboni room? Picture me with a blank look. But it turned out to be the biggest surprise on the tour. It’s an octagonal breakfast room and you think you’re in a birdcage when you’re in it.
Of course this is not a large room and I try really hard not to get people in pictures on these tours, but look at these details in this room! This is an old photo from when the house was staged…and looking in the kitchen you can see the old floor tile colors in there, those have been changed to original green color now.
So who is Menaboni? Think of him as Atlanta’s very own Audubon. Athos Menaboni, an Italian immigrant, painted many, many birds in and around Atlanta. He lived to be 90 and worked right up to the end!
From here we headed upstairs (this house has 5 bedrooms total). As with many old homes, maximum detail and expense goes into the public rooms, so the floors are a different wood than the walnut floors on the first floor. Impressive to see the original 1930s bathrooms (and hey, subway tile is back in a big way these days!).
The master bedroom is huge, but May Goodrum slept on the sleeping porch that was adjacent to it instead. Here’s a look at the master bedroom.
See there’s some furniture in here? The Watson Brown Foundation has been able to acquire quite a few of the original pieces of furniture in the house, so visitors will get to see what this place looked like in the 1930s.
The main landing upstairs had great arched doorways, this one is visible from the first floor too.
This place was originally a 5 acre parcel, though over the years a couple of acres have been sold. Looking out in front, see all the boxwoods?
Well, here’s a funny story about the boxwoods out front. In 1936, Mrs Goodrum had these planted in the shape of her initials. Pretty cool idea huh? She remarried in 1938 (and nope, he wasn’t a “G”, it was Francis Abreu) – and had the plants redone to reflect her updated initials!
The back gardens – I’d call this a bowling lawn – was really impressed by the curved walls, and at the very back, we’ll see the Watson Brown Foundation’s next big renovation here.
Yep – the pavilion is next up to renovate, and like most anything to do with an old house, nothing is ever as simple as it looks. There are numerous city code requirements now on these things.
Standing in the back garden (oh you know it’s about to rain, don’t you?).
Last stop – a side garden and pond, that was set up as an outdoor theater back in the old days.
As we were wrapping up outside, the rain finally let loose in those huge raindrops that are the beginning of a 5 minute shower outside. I think it lasted about as long as it took all of us to run back to our cars, which were parked off the property. Got in the car, and voila, the rain stopped! How does that happen like that? Grrr!
Wrapping up the May Patterson Goodrum House – WOW. It’s amazing that so much of the original detail in the house remained after years of benign neglect – like the mural in the dining room, the Menaboni painting, the original bath fixtures and things like that. And while I promise you this is one big house, and has very formal spaces, it still feels comfortable inside. Maybe it was not having furniture and paintings around everywhere, but all in all just an amazing property. As I did my research and learned more about May Patterson Goodrum Abreu, it just reinforced how much that the people make a house a home. Their stories are what makes history so interesting!
Thanks so much for coming along on this 2 part tour! I appreciate you!