Old Mansions of Peachtree

 

Considering Peachtree Street now looks like this:

peachtree_highres_crop

 

I thought it may be interesting

to show the

Old Mansions of Peachtree Street

In 1836, when the Georgia General Assembly decided to build a railroad from Savannah to the midwest, with a ” Terminus somewhere south east of the Chattahoochee River”, they never expected to create a boom-town which would experience population and construction booms from transportation, commerce, and real estate– time after time– until we have the nearly six million person metropolitan capital of today. This post focuses on the finest residential architecture built along only one street, world famous Peachtree Street, from 1850 through 1930.

I’ve often thought that a museum devoted solely to the evolution of Peachtree would be very interesting.

These first images are homes built before the Civil War:

(Most images courtesy of the Atlanta History Center and the Atlanta Time Machine, many thanks.)

1850
This was a fine home from 1850 and was located near where Woodruff Park is today.
1895 ellis cain p leydon
The Leyden House, constructed in 1858, was very unusual due to its Greek Revival style, though built inside the city. Austin Leyden had the first foundry in the city, Atlanta Machine Works.
Lleyden House 1865
The Leyden House photographed during Atlanta’s occupation in 1865 with Union troops on the porch. It was located where Davison’s department store was built in 1927, near Peachtree Center.
cain
This home was nearby at Peachtree at Cain Streets                                                                        (now Andrew Young International Blvd.)
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This fine brick home was influenced by Augusta and Savannah homes, where Peachtree Center is today.
prewar
A pre-war mansion in the neoclassic style.

After the war,

many fine homes were built in the Italianate, Victorian, and other styles along Peachtree

from 1865 through the 1890’s, in downtown.

Of course, most of us remember Rhett & Scarlett’s new mansion in Atlanta soon after ther war:

But the mansion from Gone With the Wind was only a painted backdrop for the movie.
But the Atlanta mansion from Gone With the Wind was only a painted backdrop for the movie, though not too far off from the designs of actual homes built soon after the war.
ptree ellis 1895
These mansions were along Peachtree, just south of the Leyden House, near Peachtree Center.
1890
A view of Peachtree Street with the Leyden House on the left, from 1890. Note the streetcar rails and electric/telegraph poles with no wires yet!
ellis p
A similar view, later, where Peachtree Center is today.
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An early view where Peachtree and West Peachtree meet. Notice how tiny Peachtree Street is on the right.
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A similar view, but after 1896 and before 1912. (Courtesy of the Atlanta Time Machine)
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South of the railroads, where highways run today.
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Peachtree Center
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This home was located near Pine St and Peachtree.
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Fine old home photographed in 1891.
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An unusual crenulated tower tops this home.
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Brick Victorian with tower.
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A Greek Revival and Italianate styled home.
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A fine downtown Atlanta home.
cain p
Near Cain St, now International Boulevard
baker p
This granite castle was at Peachtree and Baker Streets.
1877ptreeGarnett
This home was south of Five Points near the Garnett MARTA station.
ptree 1905
A 1905 photo of the old Governor’s Mansion on Peachtree.
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A parlour in the Governor’s Mansion.

 

gov mans 1888
The Georgia Governor’s Mansion from 1870 to 1923.
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Another mansion where Peachtree Center stands today, photographed in 1878.
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An 1870’s home at Mills St & Peachtree.

These homes above would all eventually have to be razed for commercial construction, as Atlanta boomed:

1885
An 1885 drawing of a jeweler at 34 Peachtree, near Five Points, replaced again and again by larger and taller and more modern buildings.
1895 p
An 1895 view of Peachtree.
atm 1897
An 1897 view of the Flatiron Building under construction. (courtesy of the Atlanta Time Machine)
1910
A 1910 view of Peachtree, Flatiron on the left. Today Woodruff Park is on the right.
grand opera house2
The Grand Opera House, the second built by DeGive, was built in 1893. It was later to become Lowe’s Grand Theatre where Gone With The Wind premiered in 1939.
grand opera house
The interior of the Grand Opera House.

 

Peachtree Center
Peachtree Center

 

Further north, along Peachtree in what would become Midtown Atlanta,

the march of spectacular homes continued:

peters 4th 5th
This was an early Peters home between 4th & 5th Streets. The family owned half of what is now Midtown Atlanta. The newer Peters home, Ivy Hall, remains on Ponce De Leon, a part of Savnnah College of Art & Design (SCAD).
ptree9th1903
On Peachtree at 9th once stood this Victorian, photograghed in 1903.
ptree8th 1915
Near 8th St, a fine granite block home.
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Large brick home near Ponce De Leon.
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At 537 Peachtree, the Rufus Rose House still remains, one of the last standing on Peachtree.
north ponce p
This home was between Ponce De Leon and North Avenue.
atm Raoul
The Raoul House remained on Peachtree next to the Atlanta Cabana Motel until the 90’s. Photo courtesy of Atlanta Time Machine.
1900
An interior view from 1900. Note the electric lighting integrated to the curved corniced ceiling.
1197 p 1905
Near 12th & Peachtree.
2ptree5th dr wilson
Dr. Wilson’s home near 5th St.
ptree5th dr wilson
The Entrance Hall of Dr. Wilson’s home.
Peachtree-Circle-Apartments-And-The-Leyden-House-Columns-Ray-Keen-2013
The enormous historic Leyden House columns were reused on an apartment building in Ansley Park.
1701 p Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell’s parents home near 17th St at Peachtree.
Rhodes_Hall_in_Atlanta
The greatest mansion still remaining on Peachtree is Rhodes Hall, a part of Atlanta History Center, and opened to the public.
The spectacular carved mahogany stairway and stained glass windows in Rhodes Hall.
The spectacular carved mahogany stairway and stained glass windows in Rhodes Hall.
MRemmonshouse
This home, built in 1902, was next door to the Crescent Apartments, commonly referred to now as the Margaret Mitchell house, in midtown.
atlanta_womans_club_wedding
The Wimbish Mansion (Atlanta Woman’s Club) still remains on Peachtree, near 14th St. The home has it’s own Ballroom and Opera House!
womansclub5
The Ballroom of the Wimbish Mansion, used for special events.
The Wimbish Mansion's Opera House now houses OPERA nightclub.
The Wimbish Mansion’s Opera House now houses OPERA nightclub.
1109 W. Peachtree St. Atlanta GA
Still standing on West Peachtree.

Between 1910 and 1930, much larger buildings were being built on Peachtree in midtown that would become the Fox Theatre Historic District:

GTpc12use
In 1911, the Georgian Terrace Hotel was built at the corner of Peachtree and Ponce De Leon Avenue, later to become where Hollywood would stay in 1939.
ponce-de-leon-apartments
In 1913, at the other corner, the gorgeous Ponce De Leon Apartments were built.
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1927 would see the beginning of the Yaarab Temple, to become the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
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The interiors of the Fox with starry lit sky.
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The historic district today.
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The Reid House, by Neel Reid, is across from the HIGH Museum of Art.

As Peachtree downtown became more commercial, more mansions were built further north on Peachtree from Brookwood to Buckhead:

An 1885 "country home" near Brookwood.
An 1885 “country home” near Brookwood.

 

1753 peach
This fine Renaissance revival home by architect Neel Reid once graced a hill at 1753 Peachtree near Brookwood Station.
Willis Jones House Paces Ferry
In the 60’s it was moved to West Paces Ferry, near the current Governor’s Mansion. (courtesy Architecture Tourist)
ptree 13-14th
A grand home hear 14th St.
spring p 1901
A 1901 home near Brookwood Station at Spring St where the World Athletes Monument stands today.
Built before the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, the World Athletes Monument.
Built before the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, the World Athletes Monument.
2025 peachtree
Once at 2025 Peachtree, across from Piedmont Hospital.
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North Peachtree in Buckhead.

And, finally in 2006, Robert A. M. Stern Architect built The Mansion On Peachtree in Buckhead, now the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta, at 580 feet tall and 42 floors.

mansion1280x1200
Buckhead’s Mansion on Peachtree /Mandarin Oriental Hotel Atlanta.
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Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Downtown
Peachtree Center in Downtown Atlanta looking north on Peachtree to Midtown Atlanta

 

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33 thoughts on “Old Mansions of Peachtree

    1. I grew up in Atlanta in the 1940s where Southern charm and gracious manners were the norm. Many of these beautiful, old homes were still around and I remember seeing them as I rode with my parents through out the area. Fox theatre was the go-to-place for movie date nights and the Varsity completed the evening. Wonderful, warm memories of a once genteel city.

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  1. This is awesome. I read somewhere that Vinings used to be a destination for people who lived in the fine homes downtown. There was an open air pavillion there, near the train station and people would go to Vinings to get out of the heat of downtown in the summer. It would be a day trip and they would all take picnic lunches. There was dancing in the pavillion. I’m hoping there are still photos! The pavillion was closed in and turned into one of the antique stores that helped make Vinings the quaint little village that it was in the 60’s and 70’s. I believe the pavillion was moved in the mid 90s to the property of the Pace House in Vinings.

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    1. I grew up in Vinings and my mother was one of 9 children from the Spring Lake Park/Howell Mill Rd area. She said as kids in the 40’s they would take a train/trolley out to the Vinings area for a day trip. In the early 70’s there were still remnants of train/trolley car tracks running along Log Cabin Rd. (not to be confused with the CSX train line that also runs through there). I was also told as a child that the Vinings area was popular for hunting when my father was a teen.

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  2. Great article! One minor correction- Rhodes Hall is operated by The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, not the Atlanta History Center. The State of GA actually owns Rhodes Hall, through the Department of Natural Resources, and The Georgia Trust has a long-term lease with the state to restore, maintain, and operate Rhodes Hall as a museum house, event space, and headquarters for The Georgia Trust.

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  3. Does anyone remember the Isom house? Had a sign in the front near the street. Have looked for it but it may have the way of development. Last I saw of it was in the mid 70’s and it was on or near Peachtree St. This is part of my family and I have been looking for it. I know the house sat way back and was not a particularly beautiful home – just stone I think. Thanks

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    1. True, I just wish more of the finer homes were built off Peachtree, then they would have had a fighting chance! We just need to enjoy and protect Ansley Park, Midtown, Druid Hills, Inman Park, Grant Park, Edgewood, Kirkwood, East Atlanta, East Lake, Adair Park, and West End!

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  4. You need to make a book with pics & history. I would love to have one. I was born on Atlanta, many family members on both sides from there.

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      1. I think it was here in the mid 80’s. We came up to Atlanta from south Georgia and saw it around 1983 or 84. It was delightful, but I don’t have much recollection of what the house looked like, other than it was on Peachtree and it was a big old house.

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      2. Believe trinkets & souvenirs might were sold there( & poss. small toys)– definitely remember the Jap Zero & GWTW memorabilia @ the”Rose House” museum

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    1. The Atlanta Toy Museum also had a Japanese Zero behind the house. Would you happen to have any information about this mansion? I took my father to an appointment at Crawford Long Hospital last week. We drove home heading north on Peachtree Street. He asked me if I remembered going there as a child. I said yes. They had some interesting displays in the museum. He couldn’t remember when it was sold or where exactly it was, however, he remembered it being on the right side of Peachtree Street. I would love to email him an article or any information you might have regarding the property.

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      1. not sure which is the better link, but somebody put this picture on pinterest, and the sign out front certainly matches the little business card I got there. It’s not like in my memory, but I am probably remembering one of the doll houses inside!

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      2. Hi Jenny.
        I was looking at the photos of the “Rose Mansion.” I remember very well the a6m5 Zero that was in the back yard at 537 Peachtree. I have pictures of it made in the late 1980s. this airplane had a very interesting history. many attempts were made to buy it but none were accepted,i guess until lately since it is gone.
        this Zero was damaged during a landing in Atl when the military was flying this airplane around the country showing it to people. it was reported to have been sold to the owner of 537 Peachtree sometime in 1945. this airplane had the wings sawed of as the zero does not have a wall to remove them without major surgery.

        over the following years there were articles about this Zero in aviation magazines.when I saw it there was heavy corrosion where it has been sitting on the damp ground many years. I hope this old warrior has a new home where it can be shown and be out of the weather. the Sakae type 21 radial engine alone is very rare.

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    1. hi.
      you are so correct. it seems this is the “normal” in a country that thinks a home built in the 1700s is old. I guess they have never been to Europe. here in Columbus ga the powers that be in Columbus have a snazzy saying….”what progress has preserved.” then these same folks have torn down many beautiful homes and built some of the ugliest creations. they have also put small businesses out of business because they didn’t “fit in” for their “uptown” improvements. good old Columbus,heads in the clouds and knee deep in mud.

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