Visiting Atlanta? Put This Hidden Gem On Your To-Do List

 

Swan House is my #2 favorite place to check out as a visitor to Atlanta (#1 is the Goat Farm Arts Center). Oddly, no Atlantan I know, has been to Swan House. Although fans of The Hunger Games, will be familiar with the estate.

  • What makes Swan House such an amazing experience is seeing the original owners’ furnishings and belongings still in place in many of the major rooms.
  • Swan House was the home of Edward and Emily Inman beginning in 1928. Edward died of a heart attack 3 years later at age 49.
  • His wife, Emily, continued to live there until 1965 with her oldest son and his wife and their children.
  • Make sure you check out the grandchildren’s bedroom on the 2nd floor. Children visiting the house are encouraged to play with the toys in the room.
  • The Atlanta Historical Society purchased the house, its furnishings and the entire 28-acre estate in 1966 and opened it to the public in 1967.

One important tip: Do not be put off by the bland and uninspiring Atlanta History Center building that faces the street. It’s where you need to go to get your tickets but do not dilly dally there. Get right out on the estate grounds behind the History Center and amble over to Swan House.

See pics below of what caught my eye in the house and around the estate including two children’s playhouses. The History Center’s grounds also house the Smith Family Farm which is definitely worth a visit as well.

On your walk over to Swan House you’ll see this children’s playhouse. It was built by an Atlanta businessman for his daughter in 1937. A later owner expanded it to include an extension for his daughter’s cat with what may have been the first-ever cat door. The playhouse was donated to the History Center by a later owner and moved to the grounds in 1998.

 

 

In the driveway of the Swan House, you’ll see a Ford Model T, very similar to the one owned by the Inman’s. It was the car in which their chauffeur taught one of the Inman sons how to drive in downtown Atlanta.

 

Entrance/Stairs/Hallway

Love this black and white marble floor and the curved, free-standing stairway. This was an expression of new American interior design that eliminated Victorian clutter and stressed simplicity and proportion.

 

Breakfast Room: An intimate family dining room

 

Library & Mr. Inman’s Office

Swan House occasionally has “re-enactors” present who will provide more in-depth info on how the Inman’s lived here

 

Morning Room

 

Dining Room

Hand-painted English wallpaper, reproduction Aubusson rug, plaid draperies showed sophisticated taste. Notice the Swan tables – they were purchased by the Inmans in England in 1924 and were believed to have inspired the swan motif throughout the house.

Detail of hand-painted wallpaper

 

Butler’s Pantry

 

Kitchen

 

Emily Inman’s Bedroom and Dressing Room/Bathroom

Like many wealthy people in the 1920s/30s, the Inmans had adjoining bedrooms.

Athos Menaboni painted the dressing room and bath – and had to re-do because Mrs. Inman did not care for the first version.


 

 

Grandchildren’s bedroom

 

Swan House Playhouse

 

Swan House Gardens/Fountains

Photo Credit: Rodrigo Padilla

View from porch adjacent to the morning room where family would take their meals in the summer

 

 

Smith Family Farm: MUST SEE

The Smith Family Farm is a small plantation, built circa 1840 by Robert Smith. The house has been restored and is operated by the Atlanta History Center as a 19th-century historic house museum on the grounds of Swan House.

  • It is typical of the usual kind of plantation houses owned by small farmers.
  • The house was located in Dekalb County, Georgia on 800 acres.
  • The last Smith to occupy the property was Tullie, the great-great-granddaughter of Robert.
  • By the 1960s the house was surrounded by highways and development, and was donated to the Atlanta Historical Society. It was moved in 1969 to its present site on the grounds of Swan House.

Farm House

Farm House

Farm House Bedroom and Children’s School Room – adjoining room holds the loom

The farmhouse kitchen (right) is behind the farmhouse (left)

Farmhouse kitchen. Everything was cooked in the fireplace

Water comes from the well

Slave Quarters

Slave quarters

Gardens

Share this post on: