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Greek Revival Masterpiece Designed by Gilman Drake

603 South Hill Street, Griffin, , 30224 , Dated Posted: October 26, 2016


Scott Reed


o: (678) 294-1163

Circa 1850-1855

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About This Old House

Save this house! The city has imposed a blight ordinance on the home. The local historical society is looking for a preservation-minded buyer to buy the house and restore it, in hopes of saving it from demolition.

This Greek Revival masterpiece was designed by noteworthy Georgia architect Gilman Drake for the prominent Milner family. Drake’s work is well documented and several examples of his work remain in Griffin. The 3,590 SF raised cottage offers ten principal rooms and a central hall spanning nearly sixty feet in length. This grand hall is flanked by three large rooms on each side, with the furthermost rooms opening into a pair of two-room wings that flank a patio and courtyard. The third rooms each offer access to two small spaces that are ideal for closets and baths. Three of the four other principal rooms have original closets. There are six original fireplaces, each of which has a late-Greek Revival mantel in place. The gracious porch spans three sides of the house and has 16 massive columns and a heavy balustrade. Most original features remain, including wide-plank heart pine flooring, Greek Revival mantels, beautifully detailed Greek Revival casings and base moldings, along with ceiling medallions, Greek Revival four-panel doors, six-over-six window sashes, and operable exterior louvered shutters. Though generally sound, the house is in need of complete restoration and will require all mechanical and electrical upgrades and minor structural repair to the side porch. New electrical and plumbing have been installed from the street to the house. No kitchen or baths currently exist; however, the commodious original floor plan offers spaces for each without disturbing any of these wonderful period details. An original detached kitchen has been connected to the main house by an enclosed breezeway and could easily be brought back to a fully-functioning space fit for modern day living. Once restored, this will again be one of the most elegant homes around and it is both architecturally and historically one of the finest in the region. There is so much to love and the potential is amazing! The home is strikingly similar to Biloxi’s “Beauvoir”, the last home of Jefferson Davis, constructed between 1848 and 1852. Early Sanborn maps show a long-removed outbuilding that even matches the unusual plan of the Hayes Cottage at “Beauvoir”.

Situated on .51 acres, it is located in an eclectic historic district offering well-maintained homes ranging from 1840 to 1950 and designed by such architects as Gilman Drake, J. Neel Reid, Philip Shutze, and Ivey and Crook. The beautifully landscaped lot is within easy walking distance to shops and restaurants in historic Griffin and only 35 miles from downtown Atlanta. The University of Georgia has a nearby Griffin campus. The city of Griffin has been targeted for revitalization and is currently working with the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation to develop plans to establish historic districts. The Trust recently worked with the city and the Griffin-Spalding Historical Society to form a revolving fund. Many community initiatives are underway including plans for an aquatic center, development of a downtown park and amphitheater, and efforts to restore several historic civic buildings, including a Rosenwald School which has received national attention. The film industry has discovered the charm of this historic Southern town and has used the picturesque neighborhoods as the setting for several television series’.

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