Julia Broder -- Greetings from The Riverside Realty Group in beautiful Westport, CT! I love forming lasting relationships with my clients, and hopefully this spills over into my work on this column.
Take a Peek? Luxe Property Lovers . . . we share the common enjoyment of peeking in on great properties, don't we? It's only natural to want to see how other people live!
My Luxe Properties column is your showcase for a new, special luxe property every week . . . luxury listings from the best independent boutique firms, of course! Learn all about luxe areas and beautiful residences that are for sale . . . ready for a wonderful buyer like you . . . then give me a call and we'll have fun shopping for your new home together.
Burrrrrrr! I’m cold from our recent snows and ice storms, and I need to get a break! Let me update you on a fantastic Southern Luxe Property . . . and let’s travel to the Southeast now . . . to red-hot Atlanta!!!
Center of Excellence! This metro area is one of the top business hot spots in the nation. Many Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters here. And why is that? It's lure is an educated and diverse workforce . . . a strong economy. . . and a posh lifestyle with fantastic luxe amenities. Luxies, this is the place to be!
Weather Wonderful: Mild climate, four distinctly beautiful seasons . . . Atlanta's average temp is 61 degrees, perfect to enjoy more than 100 golf courses, 200 public tennis courts, and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails available more than 300 days a year! The moderate Atlanta climate allows its luxe property residents to take advantage of the many outdoor festivals, concert venues, and parks nearly year-round!
What To Do, What To Do? While you are in Atlanta . . . there's so much to enjoy . . . the wonderful exhibits and attractions! The New World of Coca-Cola . . . Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tours . . . Centennial Olympic Park . . . the Georgia Aquarium . . . several historical museums and sites . . . The Atlanta History Center . . . the home of the world's largest dinosaurs, The Fernbank Museum of Natural History . . . The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum!
The High Museum of Art hosts European and American paintings, special exhibitions, African, decorative, folk, and 20th century art and photography. Past exhibits have included works by Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Picasso, Degas, and Elton John's private photography collection (he has a home in Atlanta, of course).
Much, Much More! The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum . . . Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park . . . Stone Mountain Park . . . and the Atlanta Preservation Center which offers many fabulous walking tours!
The Atlanta Botanical Garden features one of the world's largest permanent displays of luscious tropical orchids, 15 acres of outdoor display gardens, and the Fuqua Conservatory -- a home to rare and endangered tropical and desert plants!
The Garden also includes a wonderful children's garden with special goodies like a maze beginning at a colorful caterpillar's mouth and ending at the Butterfly Pavilion, fossil digging, and carnivorous plants.
Culturally speaking . . .You've got the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Opera, and the Atlanta Symphony, among many other venues! The Center for Puppetry Arts is the largest museum dedicated to the art of puppetry, and you'll see dazzling sets and entertaining shows for both adults and children. Look for the famous "Pigs in Space" Muppets, masks from The Lion King, and Izzy from Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Games!
Gone With the Wind! Take the fun rides of the Chattahoochee Trolley and tour the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, centered around the Midtown apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote the epic Gone with the Wind. Exclusive photographs and exhibits tell the story of Margaret Mitchell beyond the book, and the Gone with the Wind Movie Museum fleshes out behind-the-scenes movie action with memorabilia like the actual doorway of Tara from the movie set!
Shopping Spree: Atlanta is a shop till you drop international luxe shopper's location, with legendary shopping in Buckhead, including Two Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza . . . luxe goods abound to fill your luxe properties and closets with all top-of-the-line goodies! Buckhead is the area of Atlanta filled with history, luxe properties, luxe dining, luxe shopping, and oh-so-easy access to transportation to Atlanta’s center and the airport!
Luxe Dining! Do you enjoy luxury dining and international cuisine? I know my Luxies, don't I? Atlanta's the place! Their ethnic dining scene has flourished as the city's reputation as an international destination spread throughout the world. Ethnic offerings are many in this international metropolis . . . and I love the explosion of upscale fare that has taken Atlanta's global cuisine into orbit!
YUM-YUM! Other cities have different neighborhoods where the same ethnicities live . . . but Atlanta has one long road -- Buford Highway -- connecting one long neighborhood of different nationalities, all living side by side and working side by side in family-owned businesses and restaurants. You'll find Korean barbeque, Vietnamese bakeries, pho shops, dim sum, arepas from Venezuela, Salvadorian pupusas, Mexican breakfasts, ceviche, several mixed food courts, taquerias, farmer's markets, and much more!
It's one of the few places, if not the only one on the planet, where you can barbeque your own food at the table, crack raw eggs into a bubbling bowl of brothy tofu, eat out of a pot, wrap it, roll it, eat it raw, do it charred, swing to something sautéed, sip it, slurp it, then top it off with a cappuccino and pastries from a local Asian bakery!!!
Let's Fly Away! Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's busiest passenger airport . . . with a passenger terminal complex equivalent to more than 45 football fields . . . and always working hard to get you to your next luxe destination!
Some Atlanta Real Estate Trivia: Now that my Luxies are set with entertainment of all sorts, shopping, sites to see, and fab dining experiences, let’s look at a luxe real estate property . . . after we first clear something up!
Why is the name Peachtree used for over 55 street names in the Atlanta area? Interestingly, it is not named for a fruit tree of any sort! Many of Atlanta's corridors follow the paths created by the Creek and Cherokee Indian nations who inhabited the area until the early 19th Century. A large Creek settlement was called Standing Pitch Tree after a tall lone tree. Over time, the "pitch tree" became "peach tree."
Our Atlanta Featured Luxe Property: Whether it's the beautifully scaled and proportioned facade, the finely carved cherubs, the architectural detailing, the palatial and well-appointed rooms, the manicured grounds, or simply the romantic memories of the families that have lived there . . . I am so excited to showcase a luxe home that is a cherished Atlanta landmark!
This elegant Italian Baroque-style mansion combines the best of classical Venetian architecture with the restoration methods and technology of the 21st century. The current owner is chief engineer of one of the largest international restoration companies . . . and he utilized his knowledge, time, and resources to update this historic house to be the epitome of comfortable living and gracious entertaining while securing its future for the next century.
The Home's History is Rich and Luxe . . . Designed by Shutze and Reid in 1926,the residence is beautifully scaled and replete with architectural detailing. Designed for lavish entertaining, the dining and ballrooms are sizable yet intimate. Four lush master suites, loft and terrace level suites, offer the finest comforts in family living.
Recently restored, this estate now features 27 geothermal wells along with many other 21st century features. Designed in the Italian Baroque Style by the architectural firm of Hentz, Reid and Adler -- later Hentz, Adler, and Shutze -- the home, built for Joseph and Frances Rhodes, was completed in 1926 and is referred to locally as the Pink Palace, owing to the original color of the stucco and the pink dogwoods that flank the entry drive. It has been said that a house of this quality could not have been produced without the combined efforts of three of Georgia’s greatest early 20th century architects, Neel Reid, Hal Hentz, and Philip Shutze. While Reid played a crucial role in the development of this house, many of the features are so authentically Italian Baroque as to be unmistakably the work of Philip Shutze, who spent three years studying classical architecture in Rome at the American Academy before returning to his native Georgia.
In an interview in 1979, Phil Shutze (then 89) recalled how Neel Reid and Hal Hentz had started the plans with the Rhodes. At Neel Reid’s death, Shutze was then given the immense task of finishing the designs for the house. He left the floor plans virtually intact and then spent countless hours working out details with Mrs. Rhodes. Although having previously worked on an Italian-styled house, Shutze felt that the Rhodes house was the first "Italian design" that was practically his alone. All this being said, Shutze was perhaps most proud of the fact that, in the end, "the Rhodes liked it."
In addition to designing homes for their clients, the architects were often contracted to choose furniture and fittings. The Rhodes-Robinson house was no different. Josephine Robinson remembered the furniture quite well. "I kept things the way my aunt had them . . . and every single piece that Philip Shutze chose was there. He had exquisite taste." Some of those original furnishings still survive in the house, as do all of the original chandeliers, and sconces -- most of which were already antiques when the house was first built.
Designed for Lavish Entertaining! The Pink Palace has been the scene for many a grand affair, from charity functions to children’s birthday parties. This being said, however, it has never lost is ability to serve well as a family home. After Josephine Crawford was orphaned at the age of two, she was raised by her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes. The charming Josephine, a brilliant hostess and philanthropist, later married James D. Robinson Jr. At first, the newlyweds lived in a Shutze-designed home they built for themselves immediately behind Mrs. Rhodes. When Mrs. Rhodes died, Josephine inherited the house and it was then that she decided to move the family and raise their three children in the very house that she knew as a child. The home stayed in the family until1972 when it was sold to the Morris’. Later Mr. and Mrs. Scott Seydel moved into the home, then the Williamses.
The relationship these owners have had with this house is best described as a love affair! The current owners, the Lashavas, are certainly no different. It is these last owners that have carried out an extensive renovation and complete restoration of the house.
"I enjoyed doing that house," Shutze said. "It was a new thing for Atlanta . . . this Italianate style. It was controversial, and the house was a surprise to Atlanta."
The same thing could easily be said today, but in a different respect; the home is now a “green” house! In addition to being completely restored, the home was outfitted with a geothermal heating and cooling system, with every system, including electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and telecommunications being updated with ease of care and maintenance in mind. That's even more surprising when you consider the fact that this was all done without having to sacrifice any of the homes charm and patina! The house is as “cutting edge” now as it was back in 1926.
The results of the new geothermal heating and cooling system? What was once a $6,500-7,000 monthly charge for gas and water is now reduced to a $150-250 per month electric bill!
Unique, Unique, Unique! This home is a cherished Atlanta landmark, yet totally renovated for today’s living and luxe lifestyle. 16,000 amazing square feet . . . perfect for lavish entertaining . . . the dining and ball rooms are sizable yet intimate . . . four lush master suites . . . loft and terrace level suites offer the finest comforts in family living . . . and even more amenities include a stunning pool, 3+ fireplaces, a four-car garage, gorgeous gardens, a deck and patio to carry on the entertaining outdoors, hardwood floors and granite countertops for days, and that eco-friendly heating and cooling system . . . which can't be beat! And there's even a Casita on the property!
Give Julia Broder a call at 1-203-247-7500: Ask me for more information about this amazing restored luxe Atlanta landmark property . . . totally ready for you to move in and enjoy a spectacular lifestyle steeped in rich history . . . and we'll arrange for you to get your own private tour with the best luxe agent in hot Atlanta! As an affiliate agent with The Riverside Realty Group, my luxe property contacts are second to none . . . locally . . . nationally . . . or abroad! And call me for advice on how to help you list and sell your beautiful home . . . or help you find a new home for 2008.
Till next week . . . I'm getting my next luxe property ready to showcase, and we'll travel together to another fantastic community! (And please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, ideas, and real estate questions. I always love to hear from my Luxies!)
All the best,