Peachtree Street now looks like this:
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.)
This was a fine home from 1850 and was located near where Woodruff Park is today.
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.
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.
This home was nearby at Peachtree at Cain Streets (now Andrew Young International Blvd.)
This fine brick home was influenced by Augusta and Savannah homes, where Peachtree Center is today.
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 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.
These mansions were along Peachtree, just south of the Leyden House, near Peachtree Center.
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!
A similar view, later, where Peachtree Center is today.
An early view where Peachtree and West Peachtree meet. Notice how tiny Peachtree Street is on the right.
A similar view, but after 1896 and before 1912. (Courtesy of the Atlanta Time Machine)
South of the railroads, where highways run today.
This home was located near Pine St and Peachtree.
Fine old home photographed in 1891.
An unusual crenulated tower tops this home.
Brick Victorian with tower.
A Greek Revival and Italianate styled home.
A fine downtown Atlanta home.
Near Cain St, now International Boulevard
This granite castle was at Peachtree and Baker Streets.
This home was south of Five Points near the Garnett MARTA station.
A 1905 photo of the old Governor’s Mansion on Peachtree.
A parlour in the Governor’s Mansion.
The Georgia Governor’s Mansion from 1870 to 1923.
Another mansion where Peachtree Center stands today, photographed in 1878.
An 1870’s home at Mills St & Peachtree. These homes above would all eventually have to be razed for commercial construction, as Atlanta boomed:
An 1885 drawing of a jeweler at 34 Peachtree, near Five Points, replaced again and again by larger and taller and more modern buildings.
An 1895 view of Peachtree.
An 1897 view of the Flatiron Building under construction. (courtesy of the Atlanta Time Machine)
A 1910 view of Peachtree, Flatiron on the left. Today Woodruff Park is on the right.
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.
The interior of the Grand Opera House.
Further north, along Peachtree in what would become
Midtown Atlanta, the march of spectacular homes continued:
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).
On Peachtree at 9th once stood this Victorian, photograghed in 1903.
Near 8th St, a fine granite block home.
Large brick home near Ponce De Leon.
At 537 Peachtree, the Rufus Rose House still remains, one of the last standing on Peachtree.
This home was between Ponce De Leon and North Avenue.
The Raoul House remained on Peachtree next to the Atlanta Cabana Motel until the 90’s. Photo courtesy of Atlanta Time Machine.
An interior view from 1900. Note the electric lighting integrated to the curved corniced ceiling.
Near 12th & Peachtree.
Dr. Wilson’s home near 5th St.
The Entrance Hall of Dr. Wilson’s home.
The enormous historic Leyden House columns were reused on an apartment building in Ansley Park.
Margaret Mitchell’s parents home near 17th St at Peachtree.
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.
This home, built in 1902, was next door to the Crescent Apartments, commonly referred to now as the Margaret Mitchell house, in midtown.
The Wimbish Mansion (Atlanta Woman’s Club) still remains on Peachtree, near 14th St. The home has it’s own Ballroom and Opera House!
The Ballroom of the Wimbish Mansion, used for special events.
The Wimbish Mansion’s Opera House now houses OPERA nightclub.
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:
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.
In 1913, at the other corner, the gorgeous Ponce De Leon Apartments were built.
1927 would see the beginning of the Yaarab Temple, to become the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
The interiors of the Fox with starry lit sky.
The historic district today.
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.
This fine Renaissance revival home by architect Neel Reid once graced a hill at 1753 Peachtree near Brookwood Station.
In the 60’s it was moved to West Paces Ferry, near the current Governor’s Mansion. (courtesy Architecture Tourist)
A grand home hear 14th St.
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.
Once at 2025 Peachtree, across from Piedmont Hospital.
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.
Buckhead’s Mansion on Peachtree /Mandarin Oriental Hotel Atlanta.
Mandarin Oriental Atlanta
Peachtree Center in Downtown Atlanta looking north on Peachtree to Midtown Atlanta