In the late 1870s, at the peak of the Aesthetic Movement, a wealthy businessman purchased a rural 11-acre lot south of Atlanta, Georgia. The property was the former home of the Georgia Female College, which burned to the ground during the Civil War. In 1883, the businessman built a 5,000 square foot mansion on the foundation of the burned college.
The five bedroom, two bath Victorian mansion was considered by local newspapers to be one of the most elegant country homes in Georgia. Each of the eight main rooms in the Smoke House featured 14-foot ceilings and a fireplace. The first floor is complimented with black walnut built-in cabinets, stenciled ceilings, and wainscoting. The downstairs pocket doors open to reveal the library.
In 1905, the Smoke House was sold. The second owner updated the color scheme throughout and repainted the exterior. In 1916, indoor plumbing and electricity were added.
Over the next 60 years, numerous members of the family occupied the Smoke House. In 1978, a couple purchased the mansion from the family of the second owner and immediately began restoring the home to its original glory.
The meticulous restoration garnered awards and was recognized by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in the 1980s. The homeowners collected antique furnishings to recreate the Aesthetic Movement interior. The Smoke House was the only home in the city to ever win such an award. The photos below were taken after the last renovation.
Unfortunately, a fire significantly burned the back half of the house in 2001. The Smoke House has been vacant ever since. A majority of the ornate 133 year old interior still remains, despite the fire damage. The house was listed for sale in 2015 for $459,000. As of 2017, the Smoke House has been taken off the market and remains abandoned.