Our Favorite Historic Homes in Georgia
With almost 300 years of history, architecture in Georgia runs deep. From classic Georgian estates to mid-century modern homes, there is a style for everyone. And while not everyone wants a sprawling Gothic mansion, there are many design elements from iconic Georgian homes that can be incorporated into your next residential build.
Here are some of our favorite home styles in Georgia.
The Wren’s Nest
The home of Joel Chandler Harris, who recorded and published the Br’er Rabbit stories has been a museum since 1913. This Queen Anne Victorian structure, designed by George P. Humphreys in 1884, is notable for its clapboard siding, fish scale shingles, intricate fretwork, trim, gables and latticework. The Wren’s Nest was originally a single-story farmhouse. Among Humphreys’ contributions is a second-story “study in the treetops.”
Edward C Peters House
Another Queen Anne home in Atlanta, the Edward C Peters House, now referred to as Ivy Hall, is among the earliest and best-preserved examples of Atlanta’s post-Civil War architecture. Designed by Gottfried L Norman, the home has been a restaurant and rehabilitation center but was fully restored in 2008 and is now open for tours.
Alonzo Herndon was the wealthiest black man in Atlanta in 1900 and would go on to become Atlanta’s first black millionaire, following successful careers in real estate and insurance. He also acted as the general contractor for this Beaux-Arts home designed by his wife, Adrienne McNeil Herndon. Today, it’s a National Historic Landmark and museum dedicated to preserving Atlanta’s history as a center for black business and excellence.
The home of Amos Giles Rhodes, one of Atlanta’s wealthiest businessmen at the turn of the last century, is a great example of Romanesque Revival architecture. Designed by Willis F Denny II, the home is made from locally sourced granite and boasted over 300 electric light bulbs—something considered a modern novelty when the home was completed in 1904.
The Italian and English details of Swan house are a beautiful example of the Second Renaissance Revival style popular with wealthy Atlantans in the late 1920s. The western facade is made impressive in its symmetry and cascading staircases that lead to elaborate lawns. Or, if you prefer, the more English-style eastern facade includes a columned portico. Swan House was purchased by the Atlanta Historical Society in 1966.
Among Savannah’s many architectural gems, the Owens-Thomas House is considered to be one of the best examples of Regency architecture in the United States. Designed by William Jay and completed in 1819, the house was bequeathed to the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences in the 1950s. It can now be visited as a museum, including the parterre garden and slave quarters.
The home of author Flannery O’Connor, Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville is not as grand as some of the other houses on this list, but it is a great example of the Plantation Plain style that is common throughout rural Georgia. At one time, there were 14 buildings on 520 acres of the property. Today, it’s a museum owned by Georgia College.
Plum Orchard Mansion
With construction completed in 1859, Hay House in Macon is a great example of Italian Revival architecture. Made distinctive by its two-story cupola, at the time it was built, Hay House was considered a technological marvel. It had hot and cold running water, central heat, gas lighting, a speaker-tube system, in-house kitchen and an elaborate ventilation system. Today, it’s run as a museum and event space by the Georgia Trust.
Roosevelt’s Little White House
Built in 1932, the Little White House in Warm Springs was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s summer home before he ever lived in the actual White House. Colonial Revival in style, the Little White House includes only six rooms: bedrooms for each Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor and a personal secretary, as well as an entrance hall, living room and kitchen.
With so many great examples of architectural styles over the centuries, Georgia is full of inspiration, both big and small. If you’re looking for home design ideas, maybe it’s time to take a stroll or a drive. For more information on how Brand Vaughan Lumber can inspire your next building project, visit our website.