Atlanta History Center
Atlanta History Center Has Much to Offer
On a visit to Atlanta we spent a day at the history center and I was amazed at how much it has to offer. The Atlanta History Center is so much more then just a museum!
It is located on 33 acres of land in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The history center features a museum with several exhibits, the historic Swan house, the Tullie Smith Farm and historic gardens throughout the property. The center also features a kid's corner, a 1950's soda shop where you can eat lunch, a museum gift shop and a research center.
We spent four hours at the history center and enjoyed every minute of it. In this lens I will tell you about some of my favorite exhibits and show you photos that I took of the grounds and the Swan house.
photographs by Mary Beth Granger
Atlanta History Center - learn about the center
Historic Houses and Buildings
Atlanta History Center
The Swan House is a classically styled mansion on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center. It is known as one of the most photographed places in Atlanta. We had a great tour of the mansion during our visit to the history center. The tour guide was delightful. Very informative and eager to answer all the questions. The house was built in 1928 by Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Shutze. The house was the home to Edward and Emily Inman and gives wonderful insight into the life of an affluent Atlanta family in the early twentieth century.
Much of the furniture in the house is the original furniture that the Inmans used. Edward Inman enjoyed eagles and Emily enjoyed swans. You will find these two birds in carvings and decorations throughout the house. My favorite room was the family dining room that had a beautiful red chandelier and was painted in yellow with red insets in the niches. There was also some of the china that belonged to the Inmans on display on the shelves.
The photo above with the columns is the back of the house.
Swan House -Front View
Guidebooks for Atlanta and Georgia
If you are planning a visit to the Atlanta, Georgia area here are some guidebooks I would recommend to help you find places that interest you.
A good guidebook can make all the difference for a successful visit.
I love the "Off the Beaten Path" series for finding interesting places to visit.
Swan Coach House
Atlanta History Center
The Swan Coach house originally was a place to keep the cars and wagons and had a servants quarters. Today it houses a restaurant and gift shop.
Tullie Smith Farm - enjoy a tour of the farm
The Tullie Smith farm shows you life on a mid-nineteenth century farm. You can enjoy a tour of the farm with costumed docents or you may explore the farm grounds on your own. The farm includes a restored farmhouse and many of the traditional outbuildings you would find during the nineteenth century. You will see an open-hearth kitchen, the smokehouse, blacksmith shop, double corncrib and a cabin.
We didn't have time for the guided tour on this trip but enjoyed a walk around the grounds.
This Victorian playhouse is located on the grounds of the history center. It was originally built in downtown Atlanta in the 1890's. It has been moved to various parks over the years and in 1980 it was donated to the Atlanta Historical Society and put on display at the history center. The style shows a period between the time of the Tullis Smith farm and the Swan house.
Centennial Olympic Games Museum - Atlanta hosted 1996 Olympics
The history museum has a wonderful exhibit in honor of the 1996 Olympic games that were held in Atlanta. The exhibit features a great collection of multimedia displays. I really enjoyed watching the opening and closing ceremonies on the big screens in the exhibit and reading about each day of the Atlanta exhibits. There were also displays showing features of each of the modern day Olympics.
If you visit the history center this is a fascinating and must see exhibit!
Folk Arts in a Changing South - Goizueta Folklife Gallery
I really enjoyed the folk arts gallery in the museum. It included many items of pottery, weavings, quilts, furniture, ironwork an musical instruments. I especially liked the display of sweet grass baskets.
The American Civil War - One of largest displays in nation.
The museum has a very interesting display of civil war artifacts, photographs and videos. The story of the civil war from both the Union and Confederate artifacts and photos are shown in the museum.
Historic Gardens - 33 Acres of Beauty
The grounds of the history center are a wonderful place to take a stroll. You will find beautiful plants, sculptures, and great trails to explore.