Historic.Homes

Hickory Hill

Thomas E. Watson purchased the house that he would christen “Hickory Hill” in 1900. Watson extensively renovated the home before occupying it in 1904. He added the impressive portico, numerous Greek revival elements, and extended the rear of the home. The side porches were added around 1912.

Watson was quick to adopt modern conveniences. Hickory Hill’s original electricity was generated on the grounds. Two water towers facilitated indoor plumbing. Hickory Hill is surrounded by a variety of support structures including a barn, corn crib, smokehouse, pigeon cote, car garage, peacock run and a one room school house built for Watson’s two granddaughters.

The interior of Hickory Hill reflects, with stunning accuracy, the home’s appearance in 1920. Most of the furniture belonged to Watson and is placed in its original location. His upstairs library and bedroom have been recreated. Period wallpapers have been recreated from fragmentary evidence. Victorian lighting illuminated the rooms; artwork original to the house once again hangs in correct locations.

HistoricHomes.Cobb

TRR Cobb House

In 2004, the Watson-Brown Foundation rescued the Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb house from a slow decline in a foreign place. For 20 years, Cobb’s home rested on cinder blocks at Stone Mountain Park, the victim of good intentions and budgetary constraints. The Foundation moved the house back to its original neighborhood in Athens, restored it, and in 2007 opened it to the public as a historic house museum dedicated to interpreting the life and times of T.R.R. Cobb.

May Patterson Goodrum House

Philip Shutze designed this home in 1929 for May Patterson Goodrum, widow of wealthy Atlanta businessman James J. Goodrum. In that he largely had free reign over the design of home and its substantial landscape, Shutze not surprisingly considered this his “most favorite house.” Upon its completion in 1931, the design earned an honorable mention by the Architecture League of New York, a first for Shutze and a rare recognition by the League of southern architecture. If anything, the prize was an overdue accolade for a designer of national importance and for a city consciously striving to shed its undeserved provincial southern identity. It did serve as a milestone of remarkable achievement for the architect recognized as the creator of Atlanta’s finest built environment and lauded as America’s foremost classicist.