Roswell OKs $2.95M purchase of Mimosa Hall

A mansion that predates the Civil War and its 9-acre site may soon belong to the city of Roswell.

The City Council on Monday authorized a $2.95 million purchase of Mimosa Hall, a property that made the “Places in Peril” list of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation after it was listed it for sale last year.

The asking price of the 6,300-square-foot mansion and grounds at 127 Bulloch Ave. had been $3.85 million, according to its Sotheby’s International Realty listing. The deal is expected to close by Sept. 1, and the city will use a 10-year Georgia Municipal Association installment loan to finance the purchase.

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Roswell has no specific plans yet, but a citizens group, Friends of Mimosa Hall and Gardens, is being organized as a nonprofit to advise the city, said Council Member Donald J. Horton. The group is planning a $1 million fundraising campaign to renovate the home and gardens.

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“They’re going to help us formulate a plan,” Horton said. “We want this house to be … a wonderful venue the community can gather around.”

The city intends Mimosa Hall to be “active” with events such as chamber music concerts, Horton said, unlike its three museum houses — Barrington and Bulloch halls and the Smith Plantation.

In related action, the council amended its proposed fiscal 2018 budget to designate $340,000 for a year’s debt service on the home, and $100,000 for maintenance and upkeep.

\Mimosa Hall dates to 1840. It was acquired in 1918 by architect Neel Reid, who designed the home’s gardens, fieldstone driveway and courtyard and modernized the house with plumbing, electricity and a furnace. The land has century-old trees, stone walls and paths, a swimming pool and a 19th century grist mill refashioned into a barn.

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