Designated: Landmark Building Exterior
2801 Andrews Drive, NW
Constructed: Circa 1910 (architect unknown); addition 1929
The Andrews-Dunn House is associated both directly and indirectly with individuals and trends in urban growth of the highest significance in the history of Atlanta. Prior to 1910, the property belonged to Wesley Collier and Sarah Hicks, daughter of Henry Irby, who founded Buckhead. From 1910 to 1924, Walter P. and Leontine C. Andrews owned an estate on the then 35 plus acre site and built the original home there, which became a social and political center for the City of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. In the late 1920s, the estate was subdivided by the Sam Massell Realty Company, with the actual homesite being bought by Dr. and Mrs. William M. Dunn. The Dunns employed the major Atlanta architectural firm of Ivey and Crook to make a substantial addition to the Andrews' home, re-orienting it toward Andrews Drive and the important Peachtree Heights Park neighborhood developed in 1910 by Eretus Rivers. This early Peachtree Road neighborhood designed for Atlanta's more affluent families exemplified the urbanization of the Peachtree corridor along the extending streetcar lines as well as the movement of the city's elite into the Buckhead area. The Andrews estate and home (with its 1928 addition) shows the development and transition of the area from a place of rural retreats for the wealthy to the planned neighborhoods of the early 1900s grouped behind the increasingly institutionalized and commercialized areas fronting Peachtree Road. This latter trend of suburbanization was made possible by technological developments in transportation, i.e. streetcars and automobiles. Architecturally, the Andrews-Dunn House reflects significant national trends in American domestic architecture. Along with the original house, the Dunn addition, designed by the prominent local firm of Ivey and Crook, exhibit a high level of craftsmanship and design. Contextually, the house clearly reflects through its design the changes to the surrounding residential area in the period from 1907-1927.
During the nineteenth century, the area between Atlanta and present-day Buckhead was farmland and rural wilderness. Landholdings were often large, having been purchased in 202 1/2 acre land lots following the "Indian removal" of the 1830s. Land lot 99, where Roswell and Peachtree Roads crossed, belonged to Henry Irby, whose Buckhead Tavern gave its name to the area. Wesley Grey Collier owned almost 500 acres north of Peachtree Creek and along the west side of Peachtree Road. In 1854, Sarah Irby, Henry's daughter, married Riall Hicks. Wesley Collier and the Hicks survived the fighting along Peachtree Creek during the Civil War and remained the major landholders in this area of prime real estate. Portions of their estates were to become the Andrews home.
The Collier family was extremely active in early Atlanta area history. George W. and John Collier were two of Wesley's brothers, the former active in commerce and real estate. When George W. Collier died in 1903, he owned most of the land south of Peachtree Creek and north of the city. Part of this land was subdivided into Ansley Park beginning in 1904. John Collier was a lawyer and politician, who wrote Atlanta's first city charter. In the 1850s and 1860s, he was a state senator and Fulton County Superior Court judge. Wesley Collier, however, seemed content to amass his landholdings along the west side of Peachtree Road until his death in 1906.
At the same time, Riall and Sarah Hicks were also purchasing real estate in the area. In 1877, they bought Land Lot 99 for $4,000, and in 1886, Sarah Hicks paid $1,800 for 127 acres in the southern portion of Land Lot 100. The latter property bordered Wesley Collier's Land Lot 113. At the point where these two land lots met on Peachtree Road (the current intersection of Peachtree Road and Andrews Drive) was the future site of the Walter and Leontine Andrews estate. In the last decade of her life (1899-1909), Sarah Hicks began to sell off her property in Land Lot 100. In 1899, she sold 11.27 acres, where the Cathedral of St. Philip is now located, to Leroy Edmundson. Five years later, she sold a similar tract of 11.27 acres along the west side of Peachtree Road just north of the Edmundson property to Leontine C. Andrews for $4,800. This was the beginning of the Andrews home.
Over the next few years, the Andrews added to their 11 plus acre holding in Land Lot 100 by buying the land making up the triangle formed by Peachtree Road and the future Andrews Drive. According to city directories, the Andrews moved from Juniper St. to Peachtree Road in 1902. It seems doubtful, however, that they lived in the standing homesite prior to 1910 since they did not purchase that part of their property until March of 1910. Following the death of Wesley Collier in 1906, Leontine bought 13.35 acres from the Collier estate along the east side of the platted Andrews Drive for $10,289. In 1910, she paid Leroy Edmundson $10,000 for his 11.27 acres directly east and south of her holdings in Land Lots 113 and 100. In the same year, plat maps for the area show the Andrews had built their home which accessed Peachtree Road, a spring house at a natural spring on the property, a stable,* and a dog kennel.**
* The foundation of the stable is now part of the home located at 2825 Andrews Drive.
URBANIZATION OF PEACHTREE ROAD
During the same period that Walter and Leontine Andrews were establishing their new home, major changes were occurring along the Peachtree corridor north of Peachtree Creek. Double line streetcar tracks were authorized in 1905 to connect Buckhead with Atlanta. The line actually opened in 1907 along the unpaved Peachtree Road. At this time, however, there were no great subdivisions in the area. Most non-farm residences were the summer estates of wealthy Atlantans scattered along West Paces Ferry Road. The Andrews estate was probably much like its neighbors with the exception that the Andrews lived there year round.
With the death of Wesley Collier in 1906 and the advent of the streetcar lines, the possibilities for development were not lost on the Collier heirs and individuals like Eretus Rivers, Walter Andrews, and Frank Owens. Rivers and Owens had gained popularity in 1908 with their development of Peachtree Heights East, located along Peachtree Road between Lindbergh Drive and East Wesley Road in Land Lot 101. In July of 1910, John and George Collier (executors of the W. G. Collier estate) sold most of the property west of Peachtree Road to Eretus Rivers' Peachtree Heights Park Company for $375,000 to be subdivided and developed. A stipulation in the sale deed stated that land must be sold for no less than $1,000 an acre. Although this price coincides with the prices paid by the Andrews for their adjacent landholding, one source states that Buckhead area land prices in the early part of this century averaged only $90 per acre.
Eretus Rivers was a prominent figure in Fulton County during the early part of this century. He founded the E. Rivers Realty Company, helped start Oglethorpe University, belonged to the Capital City Club and the Piedmont Driving Club, and was elected to the Fulton County Board of Education. E. Rivers School is named for him. Soon after 1910, his company was advertising the Peachtree Heights Park development ". . . the MOST ATTRACTIVE, THE BEST LOCATED, THE HIGHEST CLASS PROPERTY Atlanta offers or can offer." He went on to say somewhat presciently that "Peachtree Heights is bound to be Atlanta's future high-class residence center." To accomplish the development of a truly "high class" subdivision, Rivers' company hired the New York firm of Carrere and Hastings to design it. On a more practical side, the company advertised that it was only a twenty-four minute ride by trolley to the central business district and that the trolleys ran on a ten minute schedule. As further inducement, broadsides promised "water and sewer, electricity, telephones, paved roads, cement sidewalks, police protection, parks," and "NO CITY TAXES."
Over the next two decades, Peachtree Heights Park developed much as advertised just across Andrews Drive from Walter and Leontine Andrews' estate. The increased use of automobiles undoubtedly aided in the growth of Peachtree Heights Park and the development of Peachtree Road during the 1910s and 1920s. Peachtree Hills, Peachtree Park, Haynes Manor, and Garden Hills joined Peachtree Heights (East and West) and Brookwood along the city's most prestigious road. Peachtree Road itself became the site for low-scale businesses, multi-story apartment houses, and large churches. Perhaps as a result of this growth or for other unknown personal reasons, Walter and Leontine traded their land and home in December 1923 for the old governor's mansion property at Peachtree and Cain Street. This property was already leased commercial sites, with escalating payments beginning at $20,000 in 1922 and going up to $43,500 in 1962-72. In the years following, the Andrews themselves moved into apartments in the Biltmore and Henry Grady Hotels, and into another home in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Andrews estate was soon subdivided by Central Leases, a company associated with Sam Massell Realty. Two prominent Atlantans who lived there during this time were lawyer Palmer Blackburn and W. Emmett Small, president of Georgia Casualty Company. The home had lost its fronting on Peachtree Road and only had access to Andrews Drive when Dr. and Mrs. William M. Dunn bought the remaining property and house in 1928. The Dunns hired the prominent Atlanta architectural firm of Ivey and Crook to create an addition to the Andrews house, enlarging it and re- orienting the whole structure toward Andrews Drive.
Mrs. Dunn remained in the house until her death in the early 1980s. During that time, the Andrews-Dunn home became an integral part of the Peachtree Heights Park neighborhood which was developed in 1910. The National Register Nomination for the neighborhood lists the house as a contributing structure. The Cathedral of St. Philip bought the homesite for $800,000 after Mrs. Dunn's death. The congregation of St. Philip's had moved from its former location at Hunter and Washington Streets in 1933 to the corner of Peachtree Road and Andrews Drive due to declining revenues and membership as its wealthy parishioners moved northward along Peachtree Road. With subsequent growth and expansion, the Cathedral has since come to own most of the land formerly making up the Andrews estate of 1910.
WALTER AND LEONTINE ANDREWS
Walter Pemberton Andrews was a native of North Carolina who received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College (Duke University) in 1887 and a law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1891. After becoming a lawyer, he moved to Atlanta and became associated with Hoke Smith. For the next four decades, he devoted himself to his practice, political activities, and fraternal organizations. His political activities included service as lieutenant-colonel on the staff of Georgia Governor Terrell from 1903 to 1907, one of the three Georgia managers for the Woodrow Wilson presidential campaign, state representative (1915-1916), state senator (1917-1918), president of the Fulton County Young Men's Democratic League for several years, and U.S. presidential commissioner to the Mediterranean and Baltic States in regard to the Panama-Pacific Exposition of San Francisco in 1915.
His activities in social and fraternal organizations were also numerous. He belonged to the Piedmont Driving Club, Capital City Club, and Atlanta Athletic Club. As a noted speaker, Andrews rose to high positions in the fraternal organizations of Atlanta, Georgia, and the United States. He was a 32nd degree Mason, a Shriner, and Knights Templar. In 1915-1917, he served as potentate of the Yaarab Temple. He was most active, however, in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, serving in many local and state positions of leadership before being elected Grand Exalted Ruler of the Elks of the United States in 1930.
In 1899, Walter Andrews married Leontine Chisholm of Atlanta. According to Clark Howell's biographical sketch of 1920, Andrews had retired from active law practice by that time to devote himself to private interests and his social and fraternal activities. Until they traded off their estate on Peachtree Road in late 1923, the Andrews used the property as a social gathering place for Atlanta's elite. For many years, an annual barbecue was held at the natural springs on the estate for the members of the Georgia state legislature. According to his 1935, front page obituary in the Atlanta Constitution, "Members of the succeeding legislatures looked forward to the Andrews barbecues and they were known throughout the state." Short biographies of Walter Andrews in 1920 and 1930 also comment on the role of the estate in the social life of Atlanta. Lucien Lamar Knight noted, "For years their home was a center of social life in Atlanta where Mrs. Andrews presided as a charming and gracious hostess. . . ." Writing in 1920, Clark Howell stated, "Mr. and Mrs. Andrews have a beautiful home on Peachtree Road, which is often the scene of pleasurable gatherings. This home is noted for its unfailing hospitality and charm."
After Mr. Andrews suffered a heart attack in 1930, the couple retired permanently to Florida in 1932. During the 1920s and 1930s, Mrs. Andrews became a nationally known trap-shooter. Beginning in 1923, she competed against men since there were so few women in the sport. These men included members of the U.S. Olympic Team. Eventually, she won the Woman's Double Championship of North America and the United States Woman's Championship.
The design of the original Andrews residence is influenced by several styles that were nationally popular at the beginning of the twentieth century. Elements of the Tudor Revival style, Bungalow style and of the early residences designed by noted American architect Frank Lloyd Wright have been blended to create a unique residential structure. A 1923 Atlanta Journal magazine article describes the Andrews home as an "Old English Cottage." Certainly, the Tudor Revival style (popular from 1890-1940) is a major influence on the design. This style based on late Medieval English structures featured the half-timbering, leaded glass casement windows and terra cotta roof tiles that are notable in the Andrews house.
The hipped roof with cross gables, however, is lower and flatter than the typical Tudor Revival roof and has a broader overhang. This roof profile, which is one of the most significant elements of the house, lends a "Japanese" feeling to the design and is reflective of both the Bungalow style which became immensely popular from the early 1900s, and the early residential designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. The original wood porch supports and the "ribbon" configuration of the casement windows is also influenced by the work of Wright. The elements that can be attributed to the Bungalow style include the shed dormer, the wide tiled veranda with masonry stoop, the panelled glass door, and the lanterns on either side of the door.
After the subdivision of the Andrews estate, the parcel containing the original house no longer had Peachtree Road frontage. The new owners, Dr. and Mrs. Dunn, commissioned the firm of Ivey and Crook to enlarge the house and re- orient it toward Andrews Drive. The Dunn addition of 1928 transforms the "country cottage" in a bucolic setting into the type of large, formal home associated with such planned suburban developments as Peachtree Heights Park.
The architects showed great sensitivity to the materials of the original house. The existing plans show that the roof tiles, half-timbering, foundation materials and window treatment were compatible with or matched that of the original house.
For the form of the house, however, the architects turned to the English Arts and Crafts movement. According to Dr. Robert Craig of Georgia Tech, the two new wings are reminiscent of the "butterfly plans" used by such English architects as Norman Shaw, Edwin Lutyens and Robert Weir Schultz. The roof pitch is considerably steeper than the original cottage with triple front gables. The downward slope of the property allows the addition of a basement story which adds to the mass of the structure.
Both the original country "cottage" and the substantial addition that re-oriented it and melded it with the planned suburb retain all of their character defining elements. The Andrews-Dunn House adds considerably to our knowledge of the development of domestic architectural design in Atlanta.
Lewis Edmund Crook was the designer in the firm of Ivey and Crook and it is his initial that appears on the architectural drawings for the addition to the Andrews-Dunn House. A 1919 graduate in architecture from Georgia Tech, he worked until 1923 with the prominent firm of Hentz, Reid & Adler, where he met his future partner Ernest Daniel Ivey. The Dunn addition is something unusual for Crook since he specialized in the Classical Revival style which he felt, ". . .fulfills every requisite of our present day mode of living." Obviously, he was constrained by the already existing structure, thus he created one of his few Tudor Revival residential buildings in the city. Some of the firm's other residential projects included the Lullwater Estate of Walter Candler (1925 - now the home for Emory University presidents), the Henry Wagstaff residence on Habersham Road (1923), the Fuller Callaway, Jr. home in LaGrange, Ga. (1931), and his own family residence on Battle Ave. (1938).
Ivey and Crook's institutional buildings are varied and substantial. They include Druid Hills High School (1928), Candler Library at Emory (1924), the Crum and Forster Building on West Peachtree (1926), Rhodes Center (1937), the Olympia Building (1935), First Baptist Church of Decatur (1948-51), the Dining Hall and Chemistry Buildings at Emory (1926), and the Presbyterian Center on Ponce de Leon Avenue (1950-1961).
The Andrews-Dunn home is a genuinely unique structure for interpreting the history of north Atlanta. The Andrews home shows how the bucolic lure of the Buckhead area attracted many of Atlanta's elite to create estates along the Peachtree Road route, thus setting a trend for others to follow. The result was the development of subdivisions as streetcar lines advanced and automobiles made access even more convenient in the late 1910s and 1920s. As Peachtree Road became more of commercial/institutional/multi-family corridor, the original Andrews home was re-oriented toward the prestigious Peachtree Heights Park subdivision with the Ivey and Crook addition. Thus in this structure the development pattern of Buckhead is reflected as it evolved from country estates into more formal, planned suburban subdivisions. In addition, the probable construction date of early 1910, makes the Andrews house the oldest in Peachtree Heights and possibly the oldest in this area of Atlanta. The Andrews-Dunn home shows the transition of Peachtree Road from a single-family residential boulevard to an increasingly commercial strip surrounded by older, affluent neighborhoods.
The house and property have also been associated with some of the most important names in Atlanta's history. The Colliers, Hicks and Irbys were the area's earliest settlers and it was their holdings which formed the Andrews estate. Walter and Leontine Andrews themselves were major figures in Atlanta during the first three decades of this century; in politics, cultural and social activities, and civic organizations. Contemporary observers pointed to the Andrews home as a center of activity for the city as a whole. After 1928, the enlarged house is connected to the growth of north Atlanta subdivisions begun, in part, by Eretus Rivers with his Peachtree Heights Park Company. Finally, the addition was designed by one of the city's most important architectural firms and is considered a contributing structure in the established National Register Historic District of Peachtree Heights Park.
Group I (1) (2) (3)
The proposed nomination of the Andrews-Dunn House meets the above-referenced criteria, as well as the minimum criteria, for a Landmark Building or Site as set out in Section 16-20.004 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Atlanta.
Atlanta City Directory, 1891-1935.
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Glass, Dudley (ed.). Men of Atlanta, 1924.
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"Mrs. Andrews Wins Honors in Trap-Shooting," The Atlanta Journal Magazine, Feb. 3, 1924, p. 8.
Stockbridge, Jessie. "Andrews Home is Old English Cottage;" The Atlanta Journal Magazine, Oct. 28, 1923, p. 10.
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Willard, Myrtle C. "Atlanta Woman Wins Marksman Championship," The Atlanta Journal Magazine; Sept. 13, 1925, p. 7.
Adair Realty Plat Books at the Atlanta Historical Society.
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Peachtree Heights Park Subject File at the Atlanta Historical Society.
St. Philip's Cathedral Subject File at the Atlanta Historical Society.