The 2015 Tour Of Homes celebrates this year with several homes and points of interest on tour.
(pictures courtesy of neighbor Ben Mitchell)
Tia and Albert Landau
926 Waverly Way, Unit B
One of the neighborhood’s favorite gathering spots, the Albert, is the namesake of ten-year-old Albert Landau. He lives just down the street from the restaurant and pub at The Natalie, this 1905 condo building, with his mom, Tia, and their Great Pyrenees dog. Tia moved to Inman Park and opened the Albert in 2007, when her son was two.
According to Tia, The Natalie is “an unassuming brick building, filled with condo gems.” The Landaus have 10-foot ceilings, dark wood trim, pocket doors, and heart-pine floors, and the original glass and molding, which makes the space feel like more like a craftsman bungalow than a condo. Their unit is on the second floor, where Albert’s room overlooks the pool, and a screened porch provides a skyline view from a hammock. “The energy here is beautiful,” Tia says.
The interior design is by John Ishmael and his team from Inman Park’s Nandina Home & Design; Tia describes the look as “modern rustic with a touch of Hollywood glam,” which is especially fun alongside the Victorian and arts-and-crafts vibe of the neighborhood. Nandina provided all the window treatments, rugs, the three chandeliers, dining room table and chairs, desks, bookshelves, a modern chair, and the exceptional Susan Burns horse painting in the living room.
One of Tia’s favorite spaces is her dressing room, which features a pink rug, disco ball, a modern chaise, 1970s art, and a healthy dose of that Hollywood glam.
Heather and Merritt Lancaster
987 Waverly Way
With a front door that opens onto Freedom Park, the three children (aged five, eight, and nine)—and two dogs—of 987 Waverly Way are perfectly positioned for adventures. But back inside, this spacious Craftsman-style home maintains a degree of decorum, with original features like the original early 1900 woodwork. Still, Heather insists, “It is formal but comfortable, with the details of the old house but modern amenities and conveniences.”
Since buying the house eight years ago, the Lancasters have doubled the size of the house for their large family, seamlessly increasing it from 2,000 square feet to 4,000. With Inman Park architect Cooper Pierce, they added a new kitchen; living room; screened- in porch complete with a fireplace; a master bed, bath, and closet; an additional bathroom; and a newly finished basement that now houses Merritt’s study, Heather’s studio, and a TV room for the kids.
Now the park isn’t the only outside space the Lancasters have out their door to enjoy. In addition to the interior renovations, they also commissioned a beautiful garden design by landscape architect Spencer Tunnell, who has restored the Boxwood Garden at the Swan House and worked on the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Druid Hills’ Olmsted Linear Park. The garden is one of their favorite rooms—especially around now, in the springtime, when peonies line the front fence. Come summer, a bright perennial border pops up.
Jessye Archer and Vicki Berry
958 Austin Avenue
Unlike most Inman Park homes, which (a) are old, and (b) have seen extensive renovation, this Craftsman-style bungalow is brand-new construction.
Jessye Archer and Vicki Berry spotted the empty lot during the Inman Park Festival in 2010. Archer is a custom homebuilder, and the pair had previously constructed a home together in East Cobb, which they lived in for four years. But they knew their next build would be ITP. This tract of land, adjacent to Freedom Park, was taken in the sixties through eminent domain by the Georgia Highway Department to build a highway that would have connected today’s Georgia 400 and I-675. Neighborhood associations launched a successful campaign against that, thankfully, but many houses, including the one on this lot, had already been razed.
Archer and Berry bought the lot in 2012 and designed the home with an architect and personal friend, Paula Bishop. They incorporated 1920s period-appropriate interior features, such as custom stained- glass windows and trim. Their favorite parts of the home are the wrapped side “courtyard” and screened porch overlooking the park, 16-foot slider doors, the chef’s kitchen with quartzite counters and big windows, and the “surprise” spaces, like the built-in pantry under the stairs.
When excavating to build the new foundation, they found remains like knob-and-tube wiring, brick from the original foundation, and smooth rebar of the original house. This new house is certainly in keeping with that 1920s spirit.
Thea and Al Quillian
394 Sinclair Avenue
Thea and Al Quillian have a wealth of information about the history of their home, beginning in 1912 with its original grandeur, through its decline in the fifties and sixties, all the way to its careful restoration. And it’s quite the journey.
The first resident had an interesting story himself: Wilbur Kurtz was a founder of what’s now the Atlanta History Center, consulting on the restoration of the Cyclorama in the thirties, and serving as a historian and technical advisor for the filming of Gone with the Wind. The house changed hands several times, but by 1978, when it was purchased by historian Tommy Jones, it was in rough shape, with asbestos siding and metal window awnings. A jalousie-windowed “Florida room” had replaced the porch, and for a time, the owner was sleeping in a closet constructed on the corner of the dining room, and renting six other rooms by the week. It’s doubtful Kurtz would have been charmed.
But Jones took great care to restore the house to its former glory, and since 2006, so have the Quillians. The awnings and asbestos came off. The front porch was reestablished. Even the paint colors, like the mustard siding and Charleston-green window sash, have been reproduced. Thea, an interior designer, has filled the space with warm, traditional furnishings—such as antique secretaries and servers—which she has complemented with an eclectic collection of artwork from local artists.
The Quillians can even tell you which room was Kurtz’s studio (the first bedroom at left, upstairs). Hanging in the family room, find prints of the house in its original state.
Veronica and Brian Roof
401 Sinclair Avenue
A month and a half after moving into this Sinclair Avenue bungalow, the Roofs welcomed their daughter Ellie, now aged two. The new family of three was so warmly greeted by their neighbors that they say they immediately “knew they’d found their home.”
The house was built in 1910, then just six adjoining rooms for $2,250. Its first residents were a clothing sales clerk and his wife, but as was typical of the neighborhood at the time, the house switched hands several times before 1920.
But it still has many features from this era. The four coal-burning fireplaces (no longer functional, of course) are a highlight, featuring original tile work—and one still has the original summer plate. In the old part of the house, the floors are original, as are the windows, all fully functioning. The old city alleyway, now closed, still runs behind the back fence line.
The previous owners added on to the cozy home, finishing the attic and expanding the kitchen and laundry room off the back. But this winter, the Roofs completed their own major renovation designed by Stacy Robinson, AIA, LEED AP and managed by Ed Turner, Classic Renovators. The renovation included remodeling the master bedroom and fourth bedroom, gutting the down- stairs bathrooms, opening up new entryways, and adding a pan- try in the kitchen. Check out the second floor via one of their favorite, albeit most surprising, upgrades: the new staircase. The spiral steps in place before (not original) were so quirky that some people refused to walk up them, as did the family’s lab and Chihuahua. So in a way, they also just added the whole second floor.
Julie Noble and Eric Anderson
1135 Alta Avenue
When Julie Noble and Eric Anderson moved back to Atlanta from San Diego in 2011, they didn’t even look at any other neighbor- hoods. “Inman Park is it,” they said. In fact, they had already lived here before—and completely renovated 79 Waddell Street in 2003. Needless to say, this time around, their main criterion was to find an old home that was move-in ready. So they were delighted to find this 1910 Craftsman house, nicely remodeled thanks to previous owners (Shannon and Jeremy Hutchinson-Krupat), and with enough space for two kids, two dogs, and a seriously over- sized cat.
Currently a five bedroom/four bath home, it has seen a lot of changes. The house was a duplex for 20 or more years, but despite being divided down the middle, it still retains most of the original first-floor windows, large sections of original pine flooring, four coal fireplaces, and a double set of pocket doors between the living and dining rooms. Other pocket doors were salvaged at Lakewood Antiques Market and integrated during renovation.
Please be sure to admire the shiny new dining room ceiling, replaced in November 2014 when six-year-old Jack left a faucet running upstairs, resulting in a five-hour waterfall through the dining room chandelier. While there, also enjoy the Thomas Burns print of the Trolley Barn, an Inman Park landmark where Eric and Julie had their rehearsal dinner before marrying at Inman Park United Methodist Church. (The Barn and church are also on tour.)
Kick back on the front porch before you continue on your way. The couple says it’s the best “room” in the house, where all the best parties begin and end.
Susan Mitchell Crawley &
John Dabney Murrill
1134 Alta Avenue
Many details of this 1912 bungalow have been painstakingly restored to Arts-and-Crafts-era glory, from the reproduction tiles on the rebuilt parlor fireplace to the hardware on the built-in cabinet in the dining room. Maybe that’s because its owners, Susan Crawley and John Murrill, are experts: Crawley is an art historian and independent curator, and Murrill was formerly a carpenter, brick mason, and contractor. He completed many of the recent restorations himself.
The house had been divided into a duplex and allowed to deteriorate before its first, extensive rehabilitation in the 1970s. That renovation, plus two expansions—which added the second bathroom, laundry room, and two bedrooms— were lovingly done. The quality of the work drew Crawley and Murrill to the house in 2005.
Crawley and Murrill have furnished their home with antique and reproduction furniture, ranging from authentic Piedmont Plain and 18th-century English to reproduction Stickley and Crate and Barrel. Note the small Piedmont Plain “Death Chair” in the hall, in which Susan’s great-grandfather is said to have met his end. Every room of the house contains examples of the contemporary and self-taught art they collect. Also on display is their collection of Art Nouveau glass.
The kitchen backsplash is tiled with a garden scene painted by the late, beloved Inman Park ceramist Christine Sibley. Other details to note: the Art Nouveau door hardware by Reading Hardware, and the curtains, which are all William Morris designs, except those in the master bath, which are derived from a Charles Rennie Mackintosh design.
Karen and Ken Taber
1094 Alta Avenue
Twenty-nine years ago, Karen and Ken discovered the neighbor- hood while roller-skating from Piedmont Park. They both knew instinctively that this was the place to put down roots. Luckily, the newlyweds were “young, brave, and naive enough” to purchase a fixer-upper with no kitchen, failing ceilings, missing siding, a collapsing tub, a barely functioning HVAC system, and the proverbial leaky roof. But overall, the 1905 craftsman bungalow had good, solid bones, and between countless hours of demolition and remodeling, they envisioned glorious times on the breezy front porch.
The Tabers have done most of the extensive renovation and design work themselves, creating the quintessential labor-of-love, sweat equity Inman Park home. And this is the fourth time they’ve put the house on tour to showcase its various stages. The most recent work was the addition of the second story eight years ago, creating a spacious four-bedroom home for the couple and their three kids, now aged 17 to 23. Other recent upgrades include a major landscaping project in the backyard and a reconfiguration and expansion of a funky storage shed to better blend with the aesthetics of the main house. (You’ll see—it’s not your typical storage shed.)
So why is there a pool table in the dining room, you may ask? This “brilliant and hugely successful” tactic was an enticement to win back the presence of their teenagers, who were frequently disappearing to homes with finished basements.
The Tabers say they’ll welcome you all back again in five years— when college funding comes to a halt—to show off a remodeled master bath and bedroom dormer, providing a spectacular skyline view of downtown Atlanta
Karin and Steve Stern
227 Degress Avenue
The “positive energy and spirit” of this charming pink cottage, built in 1923, immediately caught the eye of Karin and Steve Stern when they were looking to move intown from the ‘burbs in 2001. The bungalow, once abandoned and sold at a foreclosure auction in 1982, still needed some serious TLC. But the Sterns were inspired and saw its potential. Since their purchase fourteen years ago, they have already endured the “gritty realities” of two large-scale renovations on both floors.
The first was a down-to-the-studs redo of the kitchen and addition of a master bathroom in 2004—and the second was completed just a couple of months ago to complement the previous work. The Sterns are now enjoying their remodeled basement, complete with a newly furnished guest space and bathroom, along with an updated upstairs bathroom. Designer and Inman Park neighbor Ute Banse provided expertise in layout and design, and worked with Steve to create a custom contemporary tile design for the upstairs bathroom.
In keeping with the Jazz Age period of the house, the Sterns have displayed old family photographs in the breakfast area, including one from the 1926 wedding of Karin’s grandmother. The photo shows a smartly dressed wedding party at the dinner table in the swank Chicago Belden-Stratford Hotel. What you can’t see are the bottles of bootleg liquor concealed under the floor-length starched white tablecloths!
Lisa and Rick Yates
216 Degress Avenue
Rick and Lisa Yates fell for this 1909 bungalow—and its unique black and white central hallway—three years ago. After 25 years of raising their family in the suburbs, like many, they decided to move intown. And like many, they were in for a host of renovations, inside and out. Their focus was on spaces for entertaining, including a newly decorated formal living room, a renovated guest room, and redesigned garden and outdoor living space. “Guests are always completely surprised by the space and length of the house once inside,” they say.
The Yates family discovered gorgeous old heart pine floors when they pulled up carpet, and restored them to their natural beauty. In the formal dining room they hung art they purchased at the first Inman Park festival they attended after moving in. The Inman Park butterfly served as the inspiration for the large leaded glass window in the renovated master bathroom, which includes a dressing area. A second fully renovated bath features a unique tiled wall.
The latest renovation, accessed through an arched doorway, is a large family room with coffered ceilings. The Yates family continued the arch theme with the large custom arched doors that open to the new outdoor living space. Outside are hand-carved stone walls, a fountain, and a stone table and fireplace, which truly lends itself to the best of outdoor entertaining. At night, the whole space is beautiful when all lit up
Inman Park United Methodist Church
Reverend Matthew Nelson, Minister
1015 Edgewood Avenue
A participant in the inaugural Inman Park Tour of Homes in 1971, Inman Park United Methodist Church has welcomed tour enthusiasts through its doors for 43 consecutive years. This is really no surprise from a congregation 149 years old and 145 members strong. Leading the way today is Reverend Matthew Nelson who, along with his young family, happily calls Inman Park home.
Worship services by the founding group predate the Inman Park neighborhood itself. Members began meeting in private homes as early as 1866. Later they organized services under a small brush arbor before erecting a wood-frame structure in the nearby Edgewood community. At last, the cornerstone for the current structure was laid on September 6, 1897. A building dedication was held on April 17, 1898.
The architect Willis Franklin Denny II (1874-1905) designed the sanctuary in Romanesque style when he was just 23 years old. Granite from Stone Mountain served as a primary building material and cost only $12,620. Today the sanctuary still boasts the original altar furniture, pews, chancel rail, wainscoting, ceiling and beams. Just a few steps beyond the sanctuary sits the pastor’s study with the original church organ and archives – open for all to explore.
Inman Park United Methodist church is an historic congregation with modern-classic worship and vital service within the community. The church’s mission has always been to live out God’s Love and Grace under this roof and in the world, and it is a treasured part of the Inman Park community. You are welcome to CONNECT, GROW, and SERVE with God and others each week in this congregation.
The Trolley Barn
963 Edgewood Avenue
It’s hard to overstate the significance of the Trolley Barn to Inman Park. Built in 1889, the building housed electric streetcars that ran from Five Points to this new garden suburb. It is an iconic structure, a rare local example of Victorian industrial architecture—and after all, it is one of the reasons Inman Park exists.
But now, the Barn is in a major transition: The City of Atlanta has owned the historic structure since 1976 but plans to sell it by June 30. The neighborhood has leased it for decades and won’t stand idly by as its community center is sold to the highest bidder—it will throw its hat in the ring.
This is the second time residents have fought to save the Barn. By the 1970s, the building was a dilapidated eyesore. Neighbors formed a nonprofit called the Atlanta and Edgewood Street Railway Company, and convinced the city to buy the property. The AESRC took on its restoration and management.
Everything needed repairs, including the crumbling foundation, roof, siding, and windows. After seven years, nearly a million dollars raised, and a lot of sweat equity, the Trolley Barn became the space for neighborhood gatherings as well as an event facility. (It also hosts the Inman Park Dance Festival; you may see performers preparing for two free shows on April 25 and 26 at 4 p.m.)
The space is a symbol of the grit and determination of Inman Park. “The emotional investment is not to be minimized,” says Dennis Mobley, Inman Park Neighborhood Association president. The AESRC has been raising funds to purchase the Trolley Barn so it can be enjoyed by the community in perpetuity.
To make a donation, please visit fundly.com/love-our-barn.