Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Grand Old Lady of Peachtree

Designated a National, State, and City landmark, The Wimbish House, originally the private residence of  Atlanta attorney William A. Wimbish and family, is today a wonderful private event venue and longtime headquarters of the Atlanta Woman's Club...she's also known as "The Grand Old Lady of Peachtree."


The Wimbish House
The Wimbish House
I toured the House as part of this year's Phoenix Flies program, presented by the Atlanta Preservation Center, a tour that I've been wanting to take for quite some time. 

The tour was brilliant! The tour guides were all members of the Woman's Club and they presented the House room by room, decade by decade...and they were in period costume for the decade they were presenting. Brilliant, I tell you...brilliant!


The Wimbish House Tour
The Wimbish House Tour
The house was build in 1906, but the Woman's Club had already been around for a while at that time.

The House was designed by noted Atlanta architect W. T. Downing, who also designed The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Lupton Hall at Oglethorpe University, and many, many other Atlanta landmarks.


The Wimbish House
The Wimbish House
The Woman's Club sprung forth from a meeting during The Cotton States and International Exposition and was formed later the same year—1895!


The Wimbish House tour
The Wimbish House tour
Several additions have been made to the House over the years, including a total renovation following a fire in 1990.


The Wimbish House
The Wimbish House
Among the additions to the gorgeous Home is an elegant ballroom, which is downstairs and perfect for special occasions such as weddings or corporate presentations. Also, the high-energy, ultra popular Opera Nightclub (sound launches automatically) is at the back of the Home.


The Wimbish House
The Wimbish House
"The Atlanta Woman's club is a non-profit philanthropic organization made up o professional women of all ages, races and religions who share a common goal: to work together to improve our local community, socially, physically, culturally and educationally." - from the Atlanta Woman's Club website.


The Wimbish House tour
The Wimbish House tour
I've recently become highly aware of the Georgia Department of Agriculture's "Georgia Grown" program/initiative, which is to promote the importance of buying local, buying Georgia-grown produce and other products. It turns out that the Atlanta Woman's Club has been putting forth that same message since at least the decade of World War II. These women are way ahead of their time...in many aspects!


http://www.georgiagrown.com/
The Wimbish House
The Atlanta Woman's Club is just as active today as it was at its founding. The hallway from the main house leading to the added ballroom is adorned with portraits of former members of the Club...an interesting stroll through more than a century of Atlanta's woman leaders.


The Wimbish House tour
The Wimbish House tour
Looking at the House from Peachtree Street, you would never know just how much room is available for special events. Event planners and event hosts have the greatest majority of the main floor, some of the second floor, and the ballroom to consider when seeking a venue.


The Wimbish House
The Wimbish House
The Home is filled with mostly era reproductions, however the pieces that are original to the Home are quite remarkable. And many of the chandeliers throughout the Home are Waterford...not a claim many homes can make! 


The Wimbish House tour
The Wimbish House tour
The tour guide who spoke of the era of Margaret Mitchell was dressed like the famed author of Gone With the Wind herself! I can't express enough how wonderful the tour guides were...every one of them!


The Wimbish House
The Wimbish House
Unfortunately, I had meetings to go to that afternoon and did not have time to stay for the entire tour (I made it through the 1970s which took us upstairs). I'm not sure that regular tours are offered, but I'm fairly certain The Wimbish House will be back for Phoenix Flies.


The Wimbish House, Atlanta Woman's Club
The Wimbish House, Atlanta Woman's Club
The Wimbish House is one of only a rare few structures that used to be part of the prestigious "Mansion Row" that lined Peachtree Street. Remarkably, and fortunately, she stands at the ready to persevere for many decades to come, home of many more Atlanta Woman's Club meetings and special events.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL! what nice costumes.

Laura Anzures said...

Beautiful costumes! Looks like fun. Our company, Daniels Floors,is the flooring contractor that refinished and cares for the floors there. www.danielsfloors.com