The last, long-neglected vestige of the stately Victorian homes that once lined Peachtree Street in the heart of Atlanta is set to receive some much-needed TLC. The Rufus Rose House — an abandoned brick mansion that sort of looks like something out of the Addams Family — has stood on Peachtree since 1901, even as the area around it succumbed to the boom and bust of the decades. Now sitting between a parking lot and Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles, across the street from Emory Midtown Hospital, the home will become an arts space and entrepreneurial startup, according to Atlanta INtown.
Over the decades, the once-stately mansion has served various purposes: a residence, museum, antique store and recently a filming location. The newspaper reports that, through serendipity and sheer dumb luck, the home never met the demise its neighbors did, though it's hard to say it's fared too much better. At some point the front porch was ripped clean off, leaving a large scar across the entire house where bricks were placed to fill the hole where a roof once was. Photos of the inside show significant water damage and decay, the trademarks of extreme neglect. Still, it appears as though many of the original features of the house survive.
Liliana Bakhtiari, who is overseeing the development, indicates that much of what has survived will remain, and that which has been lost will be replaced. With these 5,200 square feet of space, Bakhriari's plans call for a performance venue, office spaces and a restaurant of some sort at the ground floor to help activate the front yard. The home has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places — though as we were all recently reminded, that offers very little in the way of protection against demolition — and the article indicates that that will influence the design, hinting that tax credits will be used to complete the project
Whatever the case, it's exciting to see that this portion of Atlanta history, for once, will be preserved, and will hopefully help to reinvigorate one of the grungier sections of the city's grandest street.