Ride-by: A Peachtree Battle Beauty

May 23, 2010 | 24 comments

It's been so long since I last posted. Mostly that has been due to the great weather we've had in Atlanta as of late. After the miserable winter, I've been spending a lot more time riding my bike than maintaining this blog. Not to fret though, I am as enthralled as ever with architecture and design and this blog will live on.

With all the riding, I'm soaking up tons of great architecture and landscaping along the way. Which, of course, means more posts in the Ride-by Architecture series.

As I've mentioned before, I generally structure my routes around the neighborhoods and particular houses I want to pass by. Regardless of the route I select, I virtually always ride through sections of Peachtree Battle. It's my favorite neighborhood and is chock full of wonderful architecture and landscaping. I almost wonder if it's a requirement to have a heightened appreciation for design to live in the neighborhood. Everyone there seems to get it and invest in maintaining and enhancing the overall beauty.

One of the many houses in the neighborhood that I'm quite fond of this one. For a long time this house didn't speak to me. Now, however, it sings to me. I've completely fallen for this house and can't pass through the area without catching a glimpse. If only I had fallen sooner, though. Last year the house was open on one of Atlanta's many Springtime house tours: Buckhead in Bloom. I did go inside and I also explored the grounds during the tour, but because I wasn't so taken with the house then, I didn't study everything as closely as I now wish I would have.

Reflecting on it, it's really no surprise that this house has grown on me so much. It embodies many characteristics that I have a penchant for. First, it's white. For whatever reason, I'm always drawn to white houses. I think it has to do with how they gracefully stand out against a verdant landscape. I also just like the purity and simplicity of white.

Second, it's from the 1920s and exudes that classic sophistication and charm that so many of the houses from that era do. The use of real materials applied to classical architecture with proper scale is the recipe for perfection in my eyes. And this house has the recipe aced.

Third, the landscaping is tastefully and beautifully executed. The large expanse of dark, green Fescue grass that makes up the front lawn draws you in and is thoughtfully embellished along its perimeter with both lush plantings and timeless hardscape. One such example being the cobbled granite walkway shown above. I've said it before and I'll say it again: landscaping makes the house.

In the photo above you can see some of the interesting architectural embellishments the house has. This is a side shot of the porte-cochere that you can see in my other photos of the front of the house.

Similar to the last Ride-by post I did, I'll do a quick run down of a few more things that I particularly enjoy about this house:
  • The marble entry way. I have an affinity for entry ways adorned in limestone. While not limestone, the look is effectively the same here with the use of marble. The marble has pink undertones and was presumably selected to match with the red hues of the tile roof or perhaps for its interplay with the cream colored stucco.
  • The leaded glass windows with the diamond pattern. I'm always drawn to these style windows.
  • The limestone ball finials adorning the front and rear entrances. Atlanta has many houses with ball finials and I have come to love them (when carved from limestone, of course).
  • The green-ish gray hue of the window cladding. The color is a perfect complement to the white facade and I much prefer it to window trim painted white.
  • The clay tile roof. This house clearly has English bones, but the white stucco facade with red clay roof kind of gives it a Mediterranean feel to me. Somehow it just feels right though and is quite enchanting to observe in person.

Because the post started with the front entrance to the house, I will fittingly end it with an image of the rear entrance. The structure beyond the back gate is a pool house and I believe is a new addition within the last few years. You can see the gray paint was carried over to the gate and shutters in this picture.

I had intended to include a bit of the architectural history of this house from the 2009 Buckhead in Bloom house tour pamphlet, however, I seem to have misplaced my pamphlet. If any readers know the details, please do leave a comment or send me an email. I have tried contacting the Atlanta Preservation Center that puts on the Buckhead in Bloom tour to get the details, but they haven't gotten back to me.

One last thing. This house was included as one of the 20 houses in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles' The Luxury of Timeless Style article. Many of my favorite houses were in that article. Their photo, taken by Erica George Dines, gives you a more realistic view of how the house looks on a typical sun-drenched day in Atlanta. The red hues of the roof read much different in Erica's photo than in mine.

** Don't forget that you can click the photos to enlarge them. Most of the photos I include in my posts are much larger in size than they are displayed in the post.

This post is part of a series titled Ride-by Architecture that is dedicated to interesting architecture that I find while riding my bicycle throughout Atlanta. Visit the original post for more information on the series. You can also view all posts in the series by following this link.