Front facade of Callanwolde
National Register photograph by Yen Tang
Callanwolde was originally the home of Charles Howard Candler,
eldest son of Asa Candler, who succeeded his
father as president and director of the family-founded Coca-Cola
Company. It was named after Callen Castle in Ireland which was given
to a Candler ancestor by the English crown in the 17th century.
Built in the early 20th century (1917-1921), Callanwolde was designed
by Henry Hornbostel of New York. Hornbostel also created the campus
plan and several buildings for Emory University.
From 1929 until his death in 1957, Charles Candler served as board
chairman of Emory University.
Callanwolde is a successful amalgamation of 19th-century Gothic Revivalism
and 20th-century ideas of form and function. The front facade of this
two and one-half story home has medieval half-timber rhythmical design
across the upper stories, crenellated bays and Tudor arches. It was
constructed with modern materials of poured concrete and steel and
a rubble base of tile covered by stucco. Embodying the ideals of an
open floorplan, most of the rooms have access to the great hall on
each floor. The great hall is paneled in walnut obtained from W. M.
Healy of Southern Railway, a friend of Candler. This wide paneling
was used in Pullman cars and is unobtainable today. Two rear wings
originally created an arcaded courtyard. In the 1980s, this inner
courtyard was completely enclosed to provide more space for special
events at the arts center (its current function). Originally a one-lane
bowling alley was located in the basement; however, this area is now
used as a pottery studio. The home has an Aeolian music system especially
designed for the house and installed during its construction. Consisting
of seven divisions, the instrument is contained in four separately
constructed chambers strategically located throughout the house. Decorative
ornamentation in the ceiling and walls of the mansion conceals the
chambers. The most spectacular of these ornamentations, a system of
rib vaults elaborated with an intricately designed pierced tracery
constructed of pre-cast masonry grillwork, is located in the ceiling
above the grand staircase. Controlled from the console located in
the first floor great hall, all chambers can be utilized simultaneously
or separately, permitting selective projection of sound to all major
rooms in the mansion. While basically an electric powered wind pipe
organ, simulation of five or six different instruments can be presented
from the keyboard of the console.
Rear facade and gardens of Callanwolde
Courtesy of Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Callanwolde was used as the Candler home until 1959; it has since served in the educational program of the First Christian Church of Atlanta, as an artist studio, and now, the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.
Callanwolde is located at 980 Briarcliff Road, NE in Atlanta.
The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center frequently hosts concerts, performances,
readings and other special events. The second floor art gallery
features exhibits by local artists, and is open free of charge Monday
- Friday, 10:00am to 8:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 3:00pm. Call 404-872-5338
for more information or visit the website.