Thursday, May 19, 2016
The Goodrum House
If you live in Atlanta or have spent any time here, then you're likely familiar with the Goodrum House. Fondly known as the "Peacock House" (or, at least, it was when I was a child), the 1929 house, located at the corner of West Paces Ferry and Habersham Road, was designed by architect Philip Shutze. You might remember that I wrote about the house in 2008, when the house was on the market and uncertainty about the house's future ensued. But, thankfully, the house was purchased by the Watson-Brown Foundation, which has embarked on a major restoration of the house and its gardens.
A few weeks ago, I found these black-and-white photos of the house and its gardens in some 1932 and 1933 issues of House & Garden. The house was originally decorated by Porter and Porter, which was Atlanta's prominent decorating firm of the day. Although the house looked more pulled together in 1932 than it did in the 2008 photos, below (taken when the house was on the market after having served as headquarters for the Southern Center for International Studies), you can see that what made the home's interiors so enchanting- the Chinese red Chippendale banister, the dining room's Chinoiserie mural that was painted by Allyn Cox, and the exquisite breakfast room that was painted by Athos Menaboni to resemble a bird cage- have remained intact.
I don't know how the gardens fared over the years, although, like the house, the gardens are currently being restored. However, I'm really taken with the serpentine walls that appear in the 1933 photos, above. But really strikes me (and will likely strike those of you who grew up or currently live in the area) is how uninhabited the neighborhood looked back in 1933. Just look at the road beyond the garden walls; there are no other houses lining this section of the street. Needless to say, the neighborhood has been heavily developed since that time.
As it appeared in 2008 photos: