Rhodes Memorial Hall was originally the home of furniture magnate
Amos Giles Rhodes. This 1904 Romanesque Revival building was inspired
by the Rhineland castles Amos Rhodes admired on a trip to Europe in
the late 1890s. Rhodes was born in Kentucky in 1850, and married Amanda
Wilmot Dougherty of Atlanta in 1876. He shortly started his furniture
business that he continued until his death in 1928. Rhodes' business
eventually had outlets in 35 cities throughout the Southeast. He was
one of Atlanta's wealthiest citizens when this home was constructed.
The house is Georgia's best example of the Romanesque Revival style.
Rhodes hired architect Willis F. Denny II, who created a unusual Romanesque
Revival house taken from original medieval Romanesque sources, infused
with more fashionable Victorian elements, and adapted for use as an
early 20th-century house.
Front exterior view of Rhodes
Photograph by Scott Moore, Courtesy of the Georgia
Trust for Historic Preservation
Rhodes Hall reflects a time when Peachtree Street was a fashionable
residential area, lined with large residences. Locally quarried Stone
Mountain granite forms the towers, turrets, and battlements of Rhodes'
castle. The building has one of Atlanta's finest existing Victorian
interiors--ornate woodwork, murals, intricate parquet floors, colorful
mosaics, and exquisite stained glass windows highlight the curving
grand staircase. The house was wired for electricity when it was built,
and the more than 300 light bulbs that lit the house reflect the fascination
that new technology held for Atlantans at the turn of the century.
The house also included electric call buttons in most rooms, as well
as a security system.
The grandest feature of the interior
is a magnificent series of stained and painted glass windows
above a Honduran carved mahogany staircase
Photograph by Scott Moore, Courtesy of the Georgia Trust
for Historic Preservation
Today Rhodes Hall is surrounded by commercial buildings and heavy
traffic, yet it maintains its serenity and elegance. After the death
of Rhodes and his wife, their children deeded the house to the State
of Georgia, with a restriction that it be used for "historic purposes."
To that end, the home is used as a house museum and the offices
of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
Rhodes Memorial Hall is located at 1516 Peachtree St., NW in
Atlanta. The ground floor is a museum open Monday-Friday, 11:00am
to 4:00pm, and Sundays from 12:00pm to 3:00pm; there is a fee for
tours. For more information, call 404-885-7800 or visit the website
for the Georgia
Trust for Historic Preservation.