I have been touring around Atlanta for the last five days with my family for fun and nostalgia, as well as for rehearsal dinner scouting for the upcoming October wedding. It's been really fun, and every time I'm here I rediscover the cool neighborhoods, specific establishments, and history of Atlanta that make all the traffic and over-building easy to ignore. One building that has always intrigued me is Rhodes Hall, perched neatly in midtown on the main thoroughfare of Peachtree Road. I haven't been inside since I was a child. This time, my mom and I received a brief tour of the ground floor as they were closing up for the holiday. Rhodes was the mansion of the furniture manufacturer of the same name, who boasted that he had more light bulbs in his home than Candler (a Coca-Cola founder.) Back in the day, specifically 1904, light bulbs were a sign of wealth and luxury, and only used by the elite. Oh how times change! Below are some images of the exterior/ interior of the structure:
The space is pretty amazing and definitely displays detail that you rarely see in construction after about 1950. Carved, ornate ceilings, fabric walls, painted murals, and patterned wood floors create a heavy, rich interior. The common use of marble, old-fashioned drapery, and large wooden tables and chairs add to this as well. A lot of Atlanta homes from this era are either a) gone (the 1960's and 70's were murder on Atlanta historic buildings- pretty much everything was torn down for a new South) or b) not open to the public, so to have a little window into old Atlanta style is interesting and educational.
The way people lived is best clarified by the arrangement, priority, and particular rooms in their homes, and Rhodes serves as a fine example of 1904 Atlanta living. The parlor room would accept guests, the kitchen was tucked away in the back so as not to be seen, and the entry hall is large and dramatic to impress those who made house calls upon Rhodes. According to the website, you can tour the old home and get an even more extensive explanation (Click here). The "mansion on Peachtree" really is something to see. Egg nog and a fire were calling, but next time I would love to see all four floors from head to toe!