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Green Rehabilitation of 'Castle on Peachtree' is Underway

An open house and capital campaign closing celebration at Rhodes Hall is set for Sunday, June 1, from 3-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation announces successful completion of $1.7 million fundraising campaign to restore Rhodes Hall. Credit: The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation announces successful completion of $1.7 million fundraising campaign to restore Rhodes Hall. Credit: The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
Patch Staff Report

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation has announced the successful completion of its $1.7 million campaign to fund the green rehabilitation and restoration of historic Rhodes Hall, headquarters of The Georgia Trust.

To date the Trust has exceeded its goal by more than $120,000.

The first phase of rehabilitation is complete: more efficient HVAC systems have been installed on the main and second floors; more effective insulation systems were placed in the basement and attic; roofs have been inspected and repaired; the enclosed sleeping porch has been restored; the fourth floor tower has been rehabilitated into office space; and the original decorative pressed tin ceiling panels on the front and side porches have been restored or replaced in kind.

Currently The Georgia Trust is restoring Rhodes Hall’s 111 historic wood windows.

Future plans include implementing a Grounds Use and Maintenance Plan that considers sustainability, Rhodes Hall’s historic landscape plan and the functional needs of the facility, and upgrading bathrooms, catering kitchen, and work stations.

Leading donors were the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, The Kendeda Fund - Grants to Green - Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, D. Lurton Massee Community Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, The Frances and Beverly M. DuBose Foundation, Ms. Christine Lambert, O. Wayne Rollins Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Leslie G. Callahan III. The chair of the campaign was G. Kimbrough Taylor, who was integral to its success.

An open house and capital campaign closing celebration at Rhodes Hall is set for Sunday, June 1, 3-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Light hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. Guests will be able to tour the building and talk with the experts who have planned and performed the work. Rhodes Hall is located at 1516 Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta. For more details, visit www.GeorgiaTrust.org.

Built in 1904, Rhodes Hall is the headquarters for The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and is operated as a historic house museum. One of the last remaining mansions that once lined Peachtree Street, Rhodes Hall was designed for furniture magnate Amos Giles Rhodes and his family. His heirs deeded the building to the State of Georgia subject to the condition that the property “be used by the State of Georgia for historical, as distinguished from ordinary business, purposes.”

Starting in 1930, Rhodes Hall contained the Archives for the State of Georgia until they were moved downtown in 1965. Rhodes Hall was then used for storage and other purposes for many years. By 1983 Rhodes Hall was in derelict condition.

Massive granite blocks were in danger of falling from the exterior walls, which were covered in vines. Plaster was failing and water damage was evident throughout the interior. The magnificent stained glass windows and mahogany staircase had been removed from the building. 

In 1983 the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, then a ten-year-old non-profit organization, moved into the “Castle on Peachtree” located at 1516 Peachtree Street. Restoration work on Rhodes Hall began soon after. Since 1985 all of the public spaces on the main floor have all been meticulously restored, including the stained glass windows, mahogany woodwork, hand-painted walls, parquet flooring, and many other architectural features.

The main floor is a popular rental facility and the main venue for the organization’s educational programs. The second and third floors have been rehabilitated into office space for operations of The Georgia Trust. The basement contains additional rest rooms, storage, and work rooms.

For more information, visit www.RhodesHall.org.

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