Atlanta History Center

33 acres of historic houses, gardens and award winning exhibitions in Buckhead, near downtown Atlanta

The Atlanta History Center was founded in 1926 as the Atlanta Historical Society. We used to have field trips there when I was in school (1960’s-1970’s). Walter McElreath an Atlanta lawyer, legislator, and author was the first leader of the Atlanta History Center

Some of the permanent exhibitions are Atlanta ’96 the Olympics, Locomotion (including the locomotive Texas), Turning Point the Civil War, Gatheround Stories of Atlanta, Folk Arts, Native American Indians in Georgia, Golf: Bobby Jones Story and Mandarin Shutze: the Philip Trammell Shutze story.

Moved from Grant Park in Atlanta is the Cyclorama. One of the two cycloramas in the United states it a 132-year-old hand-painted work of art that stands 49 feet tall. Beautifully restored and made whole for this exhibit.

The Battle of Atlanta is pictured here in 360 degrees. It is very dramatic and is accompanied by a 12 minute theatrical, larger-than-life presentation projected onto the painting. And that is just the inside!

On the grounds you’ll walk around through Gouzeta Gardens which consist of ornamental displays, herbal medicinal plants, waterfalls, and what is Georgia’s largest native plant collection in one place. There are winding walkways to meander through them.

There are historic building here too. The Smith Farm is an antebellum farmhouse built by the Robert Smith family and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It comprises the farmhouse, enslaved people’s cabin, kitchen, blacksmith shop,

smokehouse, double corncrib, barn, and several gardens. The farmhouses several heritage breeds including angora goats and Gulf Coast sheep. originally a small farm in DeKalb County was moved to this property in 1969.

The Swan House was designed by Philip Trammell Shutze in the 1920s, and is named for the swam motif located above the home’s rear entrance. The front landscape, two cloverleaf fountains and a terraced lawn, comprise one of the most photographed places in Atlanta.

The inside is completely furnished and beautiful. It contains most of its original furnishings, ranging from 18th-century antiques to 20th-century objects. It opened to the public in 1967 as a house museum.

There is a lot to see here on 33 acres and costs around 25 dollars for adults (parking is free). It is open Tuesday – Sunday 9am – 4pm. They do have private events and weddings so always check their website before going. They have Candlelight Nights two Fridays in December. This is when I go to see Octave sing Christmas songs. Santa is there too.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: