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Druid Hills condo at ‘murder mansion’ boasts elegance, history for $769K

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Containing the former library where owner Henry Heinz was murdered in 1943, rumors swirl the house is haunted

A formal living room with fireplace, couch, chairs, coffee table, area rug and chandelier.
The living room is a mix of historic architecture, murder mystery, and intrigue.
Engel & Völkers Atlanta

For anyone who thrives on dark history and mystery, a piece of Atlanta lore has become available at the Lullwater Estate Mansion in Druid Hills.

If you dare.

A 2,000-square-foot condominium, carved out of the original 1921 mansion formerly known as Rainbow Terrace, includes two bedrooms and three bathrooms. But it’s the condo’s formal living room that’s the center of historical attention.

It was in this room—previously the library—where original owner Henry Heinz was murdered in 1943.

The house had been constructed in 1921 by Coca-Cola founder Asa G. Candler for his only daughter, Lucy Candler Heinz.

Historical accounts say Henry Heinz was in the library trying to catch a thief who’d repeatedly burglarized his home. As they struggled, shots rang out, and Lucy found her husband dead on the sofa. Three shots to the chest, another in his arm.

Since that time, the original home and grounds have undergone drastic transformations.

Black and white photo of a large room with fireplace, chairs, built-in bookshelves and chandelier.
The original library and scene of Henry Heinz’s untimely demise.

After Lucy sold the home, the second owner retained the property for just a short time before selling it.

In the 1960s, it was used as a boarding house before being abandoned in the 1970s.

However, in the 1980s, a developer brought the property and turned it into the Lullwater Estate it is today: six condominiums in the original mansion with 40 townhomes on the gated grounds.

This particular unit retains many elements of the original Italianate-style property designed by architect G. Lloyd Preacher. Those include the 14-foot-plus ceilings with original ornate cast plaster molding, the fireplace with marble surround, and stone walls in the den’s anteroom.

Outside, a large private, gated patio with elevated deck space provides a quiet respite for relaxation. In addition, there are two assigned exterior parking spaces, plus a one-car garage.

Just listed by Engel & Völkers Atlanta for $769,000, the property also entails considerable monthly HOA fees of $677, which cover such amenities as cable TV, trash, water, pest control, and exterior and grounds maintenance.

Although previous residents in the 1960s and 1970s reported several sightings of a strange figure, according to sales reps today, there haven’t been any recent reported encounters. (That could change at any given time, though, so potential homebuyers beware!)

In all seriousness, it raises the question: Could you live with knowing your home, for all its attributes including size and enviable intown location, was the scene of a famous, heinous crime?

Oh, and Atlanta police eventually made an arrest in the Heinz murder, but questions have always lingered—and they might linger for all time—about whether the cops booked the right man.

A dining room with table, benches, and chairs.
The dining room occupies a former enclosed porch.
A black and white photo of a covered porch with rocking chair.
A look at the original covered porch.
The galley kitchen.
Den with area rug, couch, coffee table and built-in bookshelf.
An informal den with custom built-in shelves.
A bedroom with king bed, nightstands, area rug, and fireplace.
The master bedroom includes a fireplace.
Master bathroom with double vanity, soaking tub, and separate shower.
The master bathroom is a more modern rendition, of course, than those in the original home.
Patio with outdoor furniture and large grill.
The private patio for outdoor relaxation.
A wide paved entrance in front of a white front door.
The condo’s front entrance.
The exterior of a home shrouded by large trees.
Lullwater Estate in its current state.
A black and white photo of a two-story mansion with a porte-cochère.
The original Rainbow Terrace mansion.