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Front exterior view of Rhodes Memorial Hall
Photograph by Scott Moore, Courtesy of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation

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.

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

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.

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.

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