Tour Stop 1
327 Saint Paul Avenue
The L.P. Grant Mansion / Atlanta Preservation Center
(Tour Note: Closes at 9:00 PM)
In December 2001, the Atlanta Preservation Center (APC) purchased the long-neglected antebellum Lemuel P. Grant Mansion, saving it from demolition.
Although now one-story, the stucco Italianate mansion once stood three-stories high. It was built between 1854 and 1856 by Lemuel Pratt Grant (1817-1893), a city pioneer, railroad magnate and philanthropist, who donated 100 acres to the city for Grant Park. Surviving the Civil War, the house was the birthplace of golf legend Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones and was, at one time, a passion of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind.
Beginning in the 1940s, neglect began to take its toll. Parts of the once grand mansion, with its two-foot thick walls, 10-foot windows, nine fireplaces and a ballroom, were left open to the elements. In 1941, Margaret Mitchell loaned money to Boyd Taylor to buy the Grant Mansion for $3,000 and turn it into an Atlanta museum in order to preserve it. Six years later she sued Taylor, who was supposed to be the caretaker of the house, for letting it deteriorate further. However, she lost the suit. In the ensuing years, a series of fires caused further deterioration.
After APC purchased the house in 2001, they made it suitable for offices and moved their headquarters here. In 2006, they completed the stabilization of the historic walls and in 2007 purchased an adjoining lot to return the property to its 1906 boundaries. Since 2008, APC has reinstalled the floor and roof of the exposed east and west wings and repaired the historic windows. In 2011 the organization rebuilt the front and back porches. House and grounds restoration and improvements are ongoing.
With generosity from many dedicated individuals and assistance from many skilled crafts people, the house is being returned as an historic asset to the Grant Park neighborhood.