Preservation Personals: The Rose of Peachtree Street
I’m one of the last Victorian mansions on Atlanta’s famous Peachtree Street and certainly the last in the central business district. That makes me a rare standing example of the homes Atlanta’s upper crust used to live in. I was built in 1900 for Rufus M. Rose, the well-to-do founder of Four Roses Distillery, and no expense was spared; I had electricity, gas, hardwood floors, a furnace and nine fireplaces. Accordingly, I’m grand inside and out. Not convinced? Just take a glance at my exterior: The handsome red brick marks me as Peachtree’s rose.
After the Roses sold me in the mid-1920s, I changed hands a few times before meeting my longtime owner, James H. Elliott. He bought me in 1945 and turned me into an antique store and museum full of curiosities and oddities. For years, I held items like a model for Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie’s throne chair, Civil War relics, a Japanese war plane, and some of Margaret Mitchell’s personal belongings.
It’s true that I’ve been vacant for about 20 years and I’m not in great shape, but every rose has its thorn. I retain plenty of my showy features, including a variety of windows and my grand staircase, which is ornamented with Art Nouveau florals. In the last few years, plans to turn me into an artistic and entrepreneurial space have fallen through, but the project won’t be impossible—and you’re not alone. If you need help navigating the world of historic tax incentives and credits, nonprofit Historic Atlanta is offering my buyer five consultation hours for free.