The city of Roswell purchased the home from a private owner in 2017 for $2.95 million. Since then, $300,000 has been spent for structural analysis, tree assessments and fireplace repairs. That amount also includes nearly $40,000 towards a solar roof. Still to come is work on parking spaces and handicapped ramps, Leatherman said.
Parts of the landscape in the rear of the home could be dangerous. In 2019, metal grates were set over some holes on the rear grounds to prevent someone falling and becoming trapped.
“The reality is we still have assessments that we need to make on the property, so we are concerned that more of those exist,” said Leatherman during a recent City Council review of Mimosa Hall.
For now, only the front grounds will continue to be open for special events. On those occasions and for other private events, city staff and volunteers will be on the property to ensure visitors don't explore beyond the limited area.
Upcoming events at the property include the Mimosa Earth Fair that takes place on April 18 and Mimosa Festival on May 16.
Mimosa Hall, at 127 Bulloch Ave., was built in 1841 by John Dunwody, whose son Charles was the founder of Dunwoody. The original spelling of the family name was changed for the city. Other notable figures in local history owned the home including members of the Roswell King family, which founded the Roswell Manufacturing Company.
A.J. Hansell, a manager of the manufacturing company purchased the home in the 1860s. Although the home had subsequent buyers, it was last owned by his descendant, Sally Hansell, who sold the home to the city.
The nonprofit organization, Friends of Mimosa, is helping to raise money to restore the home and grounds.
“When we open, we want the property for everyday use,” said chairmain Mike Harris. ” We want to have something for people to come to for all types of events.”