Photo: The Ivy Hall house occupies a full city block.
Photo: The Ivy Hall house occupies a full city block.

These are the oldest mansions in Atlanta

With its rich history, Atlanta is a proverbial goldmine for luxurious and historic homes. There is something spectacular about looking into a home that has seen years of history, wars and changing time periods. Check out six of the oldest mansions in Atlanta. Some of these historical mansions offer tours to see the grandeur in person.

Lemual P. Grant Mansion- 1856

The Lemual P. Grant Mansion during its glory days in the 1890's.
Photo: Atlanta Preservation Center/For the AJC

The Grant mansion is not the regal structure it once was but with the help of the Atlanta Preservation Center, its elegance is shining through once again. The Italianate three-story mansion was built in 1856 by Lemual Grant, a railroad tycoon and civic leader. Unfortunately, starting in the 1940s "neglect and fires took their toll on the stucco house with two-foot wide walls, 10-foot windows, nine fireplaces and a ballroom. Without its four porches and its second story, part of the first floor was left vulnerable and open to the elements," according the Atlanta Preservation Center. Time and nature have beat down this once grand mansion. After the APC's $130,000 purchase and a $500,000 restoration budget it is a stately beauty again and open for tours.

Ivy Hall- 1883

Photo: The Ivy Hall house occupies a full city block.

Sitting high upon a hill overlooking Ponce De Leon is where this gorgeous home belongs. This Queen Anne home built for Edward C. Peters is the epitome of Victorian homes. "Designed by a Swedish immigrant named Gottfried Norman, the incredible wrap-around porch, different exterior textures and other design elements provide a pronounced illustration of the American Queen Anne Style, explains History Atlanta. In 2005, the Savannah College of Art and Design bought the house and spearheaded a restoration of the building. 

Rose House- 1901

The Rose Mansion by Bakhtiani Gola sold in August 2011 for $309,750, according to the Fulton County Tax Office.
Photo: Atlanta Preservation Center/For the AJC

The Rufus M. Rose House is one Peachtree Street's last remaining Victorian homes. "Designed by Atlanta architect Emil Charles Seitz Sr., the Queen Anne style house was built for Rufus M. Rose who operated a distillery, R.M. Rose Co., and several shops selling his liquor, fine cigars and cigarette products," states the Atlanta Preservation Center. While this home is still a rose in the middle of the city, it does have its thorns. Vandalism, neglect and the elements have severely damaged the Rose House. However, in 2015 the APC and the mansions owner were working together to rehabilitate this former architectural masterpiece.

Herndon Home- 1908/1910

Construction of the Herndon Home (except for the plumbing and electrical systems) was performed exclusively by African-American craftsmen, according to the Herdon Home website.
Photo: the AJC

Built in 1910, the Herndon Home was a source of peace and comfort for former slave Alonzo Herndon and his family. "Investing his income into real estate, Herndon became the largest black property owner in Atlanta by 1900. Later, Herndon founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, located in the Sweet Auburn historic district, and became Atlanta's first black millionaire," explains the Atlanta National Park Service. This 15-room Beaux Arts mansion is Southern elegance at its finest. Its distinct multicolored brick and two-story entry portico supported by Corinthian columns make this Atlanta home a one of a kind.

Villa Lamar- 1911/1912

Villa Lamar was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 for its architectural significance.
Photo: Historic Preservation Division, Georgia DNR/For the AJC

This two-story, Italian Renaissance-style home sits atop a grassy knoll overlooking West Paces Ferry Road, a white stucco beacon standing out in a crowd. While the home is a beautiful piece of art, the grounds and landscaping are the true scene stealers of this historical home. Designed by Philadelphia firm Meehan and Sons, this magical outdoor space "included formal terraced gardens at the rear of the house", according to the Buckhead Heritage Society. Unfortunately, in 1958, a large portion of the estate's 200 acres was subdivided for the Kingswood development.

The Arden- 1917

This beautiful home was built for James Dickey Sr., by the time it was completed in 1917 the house cost $119,850.
Photo: Beacham & Company/For the AJC

The Arden is the true definition of luxury yesterday, today and always. This Neil Reed home is touted as one of his best and most well-known accomplishments. The six-bedroom estate sits on private wooded acreage directly across from the Governor's Mansion and was recently on the market. Some remarkable features of this mansion include hand-worked glass, a large library with velvet-lined walls, private screened porches off of bedrooms and an elevator. It also includes many of Reed's signature touches, such as a grand entrance hall with curved staircases and a ornate crystal chandelier.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.