Perhaps you’ve driven by the swanky corner of West Paces Ferry and Habersham Roads and wondered why the heck they’re tearing up a perfectly good Philip Shutze-designed landmark, the Goodrum House. Where’s the star-studded iron fence? Why are the windows boarded up like some lowly foreclosure? And wasn’t there some kind of foundation there - the Southern-something-or-another? Have no fear, concerned passerby; in a few months it’ll be looking better than ever, owing to a new owner that’s got a history of fostering historic preservation.
The Goodrum House was bought by the Watson-Brown Foundation from the Southern Center for International Studies for the bargain price of $3.5M in 2009, and now they’re busy restoring it for their Atlanta headquarters. The foundation also plans to eventually run a house museum out of the structure. Besides owning three similar museums in Thomson, Georgia, the foundation also owns the T.R.R. Cobb House in Athens. Its restoration of that last home caused a bit of a flap, as the namesake of the Cobb House held some thoroughly Confederate views. They shouldn’t run into similar problems with their new digs on West Paces, since its history is more comedic than controversial; the home is also know as the “Peacock House” for its colorful yard birds that would wander into Buckhead traffic.