Some days are perfect. The only come every so often, and usually when you least expect it.
This was one of those days!
I had to drive out to LaGrange to shoot a house. I was told the house was beautiful, but that was about it. I am one of those people who loves a good drive by myself, so I had already started on the right foot. a few miles before I reached LaGrange I realized I was famished. Now, you may not know this about me, but I am a barbecue nut!! Literally! I stopped at "Roger's Pit Cooked Bar-B-Que" for lunch. It was great BBQ, and they let me take pictures of the pit for this pet project I'm doing.
After eating my pulled pork sandwich I headed on to LaGrange to photograph an amazing Neel Reid house.
(By the way, while I was there I met the couple who owns the house. They are such wonderful people, and the wife is a writer. Of course I sent her to my blog, and she encouraged me to write more. I have always thought of myself as just a photographer, but thanks to her, I have started trying to write more. I am enjoying it, so thank you!)
First, a bit about Neel Reid:
"For Neel Reid ... we must think back seventy years and more, to another time -- of portye cocheres and sleeping porches, French doors and parterre gardens ... We must look back through the latticework of time into the 1920s and earlier ... when Hertz, Reid & Adler came into being during the revived classicism of the beaux arts ... We must envision an (always) ambitious, growing Atlanta ... this world that Neel Reid helped to build and to give form and style ... a genius who was first and foremost an artist and tastemaker ... Let us reacquaint ourselves with this champion of architecture, gardens, and interior decoration ... who helped establish architecture and landscape architecture as a profession in his region. And let us be aware that he and his partners ... founded a Georgia school of classicists ... and set lasting professional and aesthetic standards. We recall and celebrate these achievements, especially this legacy of the artistic leader and legendary hero of the Georgia school of classicists, Joseph Neel Reid."
William Mitchell says it better than I ever could. Neel Reid was the father of the Georgia school of classicists. He was a master of his craft and left a tremendous mark on architecture in Georgia. I remember the first time I went in a Neel Reid house. It's a strange feeling... the homes transport you back to an earlier time. They are classic and perfectly proportioned. The homes are just as beautiful and functional today as they were when they were built. The true mark of a Neel Reid home is the interplay between the home and the gardens. There is no line, no boundary. The feed off of and lead into each other. Of this, he was truly the best.
This Georgian Revival home was built by Jean Clavin Farmer in 1922. It was designed by Neel Reid and built by Daniel Lumber Company.
View in through the front door. As expected, the gardens are visible through the study and out the French doors. The living room is to the left, and the dining room is to the right.
Living room with the two sets of French doors leading out to the sun porch.
Beautiful mantel detail from living room fireplace.
Beautiful light-filled sun porch. My back is to doors leading to the pool.
Detail shot in sun room.
Another view of the living room ... we turn right to go back into the main foyer...
So, here is a foyer view looking back into the living room. The Dining room is just to my left, and the study is to my back/right. (Don't miss those floors!)
View as you walk into the study at the back of the home.
This is a photo showcasing the built-ins, fireplace, and doors framing views of the back gardens.
Here is the view back through the foyer.
Dining room fireplace detail.
This is the breakfast area, which would be just off the dining room, behind where I was standing on the overview photo of the dining room.
And the kitchen... If you had taken a right from where you were standing in the breakfast room, you would have opened into this kitchen. I could do some serious cooking in here!
These are some beautiful detail shots of the upper level Bedrooms.
Master Bedroom detail.
Master bath into master bedroom.
These are photos of her dressing area.
This is a photo of the attic bedroom.
This is a view down the back staircase, which ends in the hallway between the study area and the breakfast room.
This home is featured in the book "Private Gardens of Georgia," by Polly McLeod Mattox. Right after I left this house I went down to the Hills and Dales estate down the street and bought this book for myself. It is amazing!
That's right, The Hills and Dales Estate is right down the street!
Here is some information on the estate from the website.
The Fuller E. Callaway family home was designed by the noted architectural firm of Hentz & Reid from Atlanta. Mr. Callaway commissioned Hal Hentz and Neel Reid in 1913 and the design was completed in 1914. The home was officially opened on June 15, 1916 when Fuller and Ida celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
Hentz & Reid decided to locate the home on the site of the old Ferrell house which sat on the crest of the hill overlooking the garden and the surrounding countryside. Hentz & Reid were classically trained architects and drew their design inspiration from the Italianate character of the existing terraced boxwood garden. The Italian elements of the home were carefully blended with Georgian architectural details to create what Neel Reid called “Georgian Italian”. The use of stucco, Indiana limestone, and terra-cotta roof tiles for construction further accentuated the Italian villa look.
The 30-room home encompasses approximately 13,000 square feet of living space. Mr. Callaway hired Adair & Weinmeister to oversee construction. W.J. Clecker served as the building superintendent and his son Forrest D. Cleckler served as the timekeeper who kept track of numerous laborers who worked on the project. Mr. Callaway’s personal secretary, Ab Perry, handled correspondence and did most of the administrative work required to secure supplies and materials to build the home. Detailed records of the building process survive and provide much insight into the construction process. Construction was scheduled to begin in 1914, but was delayed due to the outbreak of WWI. Construction began in March of 1915 and the entire project was completed in 15 months at a total cost of approximately $125,000.
The exterior of the home has remained essentially unchanged since 1916. Hills and Dales is considered to be one of the finest homes designed by Hentz & Reid. The success of the project greatly advanced their careers and secured their reputation as one of the most important architectural firms in the Eastern United States. - Source
Please visit the website to learn more about this amazing house. They offer tours daily (I think). If you go, ask for Sue Ellen. She was so nice and gave me my very own tour of this magnificent estate! I think I may have overwhelmed her, because I was absolutely giddy!
These are not the best pictures I have ever taken, and you can only take pictures on the outside, but I know some of you (Terry!) will want to see them anyway...
After the amazing tour and photo ops at Hills and Dales, I headed back to Atlanta. Of course, I was hungry after a long day of work, so I stopped at Sprayberrys. A full day of Neel Reid and barbeque is about as good as it gets for me!