Our home was built back in the very early 1900s. We think 1904/1905. We don’t know the exact age because the tax records in the city date back to 1920 due to the 1917 Great Fire of Atlanta.
The house blends two styles of architecture from the Victorian and Arts and Crafts (Craftsman) eras. From the exterior – it’s all Craftsman, in the American Foursquare style. Step inside and you’ll see some interior features that give a nod to the Victorian genre. So technically – it’s not a pure Craftsman.
From the second we walked in the door, we fell in love. This was in March of 2003. We didn’t really NEED to buy a home just yet – as I was living in a condo in Midtown and Jonathan had just built his home in Decatur.
All I knew was that I wanted to stay in the neighborhood and I was a new REALTOR with the determination to buy! A fellow REALTOR friend told me about our home hitting the market. I would literally drive by slowly – and sigh – and imagine us living there. I didn’t think Jonathan would bite. Thankfully, once he walked through the door he knew it too. We immediately put it under contract and were on our way to the beginning of the love affair with our old home.
The previous owner, Jim, bought the home in the 70s for a steal. He paid in the twenty-something thousands for it. Midtown was experiencing the decline that was happening in many urban areas throughout the country. Most of the homes were in disrepair – used as rooming houses, boarded up, or even torn down. Jim was an urban pioneer.
He saw the potential and painstakingly brought this home back to her glory. He stripped layers upon layers of paint to expose the beauty of the natural woodwork.
Despite the fall of the neighborhood and butchering of so many homes in the area, most of the original features of our home remain intact.
The pocket doors, fireplaces, original stained glass – features we fell in love with – have been restored back to their original beauty. We love where we live. But it goes so much deeper than what is inside of our walls. We live on the most wonderful street!
St. Charles Avenue is the oldest neighborhood street in Midtown. The homes surrounding us were built in the 1880s to 1890s right around the time of the Cotton States and International Exposition. Many of our neighbors have been here for decades.
I’ve never lived in a place that has the kind of friendliness and camaraderie that we share. We have a street keg – a standing happy hour – at least 6 annual parties – and the list goes on… Right now – we have about 20 kiddos that hang out and ride their bikes/scooters on the street while the adults socialize.
We all recognize that we have something special. And did I mention no traffic? We live smack dab in the middle of the city – within walking distance to so many great amenities (grocery, restaurants, parks, beltline…) and within a scoot-and-a-jump to every major interstate. Traffic nirvana.
Back to our history. One rumor has it that a builder subdivided two lots and built three modest homes for his daughters. The other rumor is that our lots were where the tennis courts were located for the Ponce Park recreation center. We’re waiting to hear more from the historians on our street. Either way, it’s easy to see the similarity in these three homes.
We sure love this house. And we adore our neighborhood.
A lot has happened since we’ve moved in – we got married, had a family, our two small businesses survived a recession, and we decided that this was going to be our forever home.
We are buckling our seatbelts and getting ready for the roller coaster ride of this renovation.