Designated: Landmark Building Exterior
Architect: Philip Trammell Shutze
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The Swan House, completed in 1928 for Mr. & Mrs. Edward Hamilton Inman, is preserved by the Atlanta Historical Society as an outstanding example of the best of early twentieth-century residential architecture; as a rare document of luxurious living, personal taste, and interior decoration from this era; and as one of the most successful residential designs and landscapes of architect Philip Trammell Shutze. The Atlanta Journal reported in 1967:
"If Atlanta residential architecture had a golden age, it probably was in the 1920s and this magnificent house could well have been the high point of that gracious gilded era...If every house had its own personality, Swan House derives its character today from two very striking sources. The first is the sheer exhilaration of Mr. Shutze's architectural design. The second is thoughtful taste and attention which Mrs. Inman devoted to the home."
Edward Hamilton Inman (1881-1931) descended from a prominent family that established itself in Atlanta just following the Civil War. Edward's grandfather, Shadrach W. Inman came to Atlanta from Tennessee. Edward's father, Hugh Theodore Inman, (1846-1910), traveled to New York City as a young man and amassed what was then a fortune of nearly one-half million dollars as a cotton broker. In 1874 he arrived in Atlanta and was influential in cotton marketing, real estate, railroads, wholesale dry goods, and banking.
Edward Hamilton Inman was educated in Atlanta public schools and attended Princeton University where he graduated in 1903. After his marriage to Emily Caroline McDougal (1881- 1965), they resided in Ansley Park prior to purchasing several parcels of property from family members in the developing area of Peachtree Heights Park.
Mr. Inman's memberships included those at the Capital City Club, the Piedmont Driving Club, the Druid Hills Golf Club, the Everglades Club of Palm Beach, the New York Club, and the Princeton Club of New York. He served as a trustee and member of the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. Mr. Inman was among the first Atlantans to own an automobile and he was an avid automobile racer. In 1908 he won the Atlanta Journal Cup for travelling 5 miles in 5 1/2 minutes.
In addition to his interests in family businesses, Mr. Inman was president of the Kimball House Company, and vice-president of the Atlanta Woolen Mills and Davison-Paxon-Stokes Co. (an affiliate of R. H. Macy Co.). He served as a director of the Trust Company of Georgia, the Atlanta & Lowry National Bank, the First National Bank of Atlanta, and the Atlantic Ice & Coal Company. He served as city councilman and in 1918 ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Atlanta. He was noted for his disdain of government extravagance and his concern for the poor.
PEACHTREE HEIGHTS PARK
The E. Rivers Realty Company advertised the area of Peachtree Heights Park as having "the combined advantage of city and suburban life." On May 21, 1910, Eretus Rivers and Walter P. Andrews purchased approximated 500 acres from the estate of Wesley Gray Collier. By 1911 Habersham Road was under construction and property values were escalating. "The Lodge" at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue housed the offices of the Peachtree Heights Park Company.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
The baroque garden facade is situated at the end of a landscaped vista of lawns rising in terraces from Andrews Drive. A cascade fountain flanked by stairs and retaining walls provide a transition from the lawn toward the house. These diminish inside toward the house, which creates a forced perspective, increases the apparent length of the stairs and the cascade, and aggrandizes their function as the base of the house. At the top of the fountain a horseshoe flight of steps leads to a heavily framed central entrance door surmounted by a segmental pediment. The pediment is supported by scroll brackets and contains a sculpted bouquet of roses at its apex. The doorway is flanked by round-arched wall niches, each inset with a shell motif and colored with a sienna stucco. Originally all stucco surrounding the fenestration was tinted sienna and the base stucco trim was a faded Venetian yellow. The architect carefully graduated the coloring of the stucco from the cornice to the foundation to give the appearance of weathered walls. Original wooden trim was painted a bright spring green. All these original colors have faded over the course of time. All windows contain a projecting stucco frame with a shouldered architrave with keystones on the basement and first-story windows.
Four bays which flank the central garden entrance are articulated as projections and recessed, providing rhythm to the surface of the facade; a projecting central pavilion contains the entrance and flanking niches. This pavilion aligns with the consoles in the attic gable which support the pediment. Two bays recess and flank this central mass. The two bays at each extreme again project and terminate the central mass of the house.
Both wings, fronted with three rounded-arched bays set in rustication, are one-story in height and extend this north-south axis. The southern wing houses a screened porch, the northern wing contains the breakfast porch and kitchen. The open-bedded pedimented attic gable rises from a cornice resting on two pairs of scrolled console brackets. The attic cornice is surmounted by allegorical statues of "Spring" and "Autumn." A hooded oeil-de-boeuf (bullseye window) is centered within the tympanum. The attic gable rises from the main cornice from two sweeping volutes and is enframed by cast-stone spherical finials.
Centered within the east facade is a Tuscan entrance porch. The frieze contains the fully executed classical components including triglyphs with guttae, metope and corresponding modillions at the eaves. The monumental quatrastyle portico is based upon the English precedents popularized by William Kent, who in the eighteenth century adapted Palladio for English use. A central entrance is enframed by rusticated cast-stone with radiating voissoirs and is surmounted by a full segmental pediment. Pedimented wall niches containing urns flank the entrance door. Dormers are situated, almost hidden, behind a low parapet within the hipped roof.
Original garden architecture includes the cascade fountain based upon the model at the Villa Corsini. The paired columns surmounting a broken pediment framing a garden bench and a rampant eagle are located in the boxwood garden at the southern side of the house. Planting containers are used in several sites surrounding the house. Urns encrusted with sponge stone are used amidst the boxwood garden off the south porch and atop the retaining walls flanking the cascade. Two water basins situated on the lower cascade and one basin centered within the boxwood garden are original to the design. A small fountain decorated with statuary is positioned at the peak of the site overlooking the Tuscan porch.
A coach house was a separate building which faced the original driveway; this building survives with modern alterations as a restaurant and art gallery. A barn was constructed on the estate at the time the house was built and was removed when the property was developed to accommodate the Tullie Smith House restoration. Both the coach house and the "cow barn" were designed by the architectural firm of Hentz, Adler & Shutze.
PHILIP TRAMMELL SHUTZE
Philip Trammell Shutze, born August 18, 1890, was the son of Philip Trammell Shutze, who was a banker with the Third National Bank of Columbus, Georgia. His mother was the former Sarah Lee Erwin. Soon after Shutze was nine, his father died and his mother with her three young children moved to Atlanta and then to West Point, Georgia. Shutze graduated from West Point High School as valedictorian in June of 1908. He entered the Georgia School of Technology on a scholarship, receiving a B. A. in Architecture on June 12, 1912. While a student, he worked part- time for the architectural firm of Hal Fitzgerald Hentz and Neel Reid. The summer prior to his senior year at Tech, he embarked upon a tramp steamer to view the continent's architectural traditions first hand. Shutze continued his formal education, again on a scholarship, at Columbia University in New York and received a Bachelor of Architecture from Columbia on October 6, 1923.
At Columbia, Shutze witnessed an exposition of student work from the American Academy in Rome. Impressed by the classical ideals of the Academy, the young architect submitted a design for the Prix de Rome and was selected as one of the four nationwide candidates. His design "The Decoration of an Island Commemorating its Purchase" captured the prize. Shutze left for Rome in 1915. The Academy allowed great freedom. Shutze observed, "one project a year was politely suggested." A Roman antique design occupied his first year, a study of Renaissance sites strenghthened his knowledge of classical components during the second year at the Academy. The Baroque concepts guided a villa design during his third year. During this year, his studies were interrupted by World Ward I. Students were commissioned as first lieutenants into the Red Cross. Shutze's studies were interrupted again in 1919 when his mother died. He left Rome for America to attend his mother's funeral and remained in Atlanta during much of 1919, during which time he worked for the firm of Hentz, Reid, and Adler. Commissions with which Shutze assisted during this time included Rich's Department Store (Alabama at Broad Street), the Howard Theatre, and the Andrew Calhoun house. With obligations at the Academy, Shutze returned to Rome and received his diploma in June of 1920.
Back in America, Shutze worked briefly for the New York architects F. Burrall Hoffnam, Jr. and Mott Schmidt. In 1923 he returned once again to Atlanta to practice with the firm of Hentz, Reid, and Adler until 1926. Upon the death of Neel Reid in 1926, he was promoted to a full partner in the firm which became Hentz, Adler and Shutze. This partnership continued from 1926 to 1944. Warren Armistead joined the firm as an associate in 1936. After the death of Rudolph Adler and the retirement of Hal Hentz, Shutze and Armistead maintained a joint practice until 1950. Shutze's date of retirement is listed as 1960 although he was involved with later architectural commissions and held a valid architectural license in several states as late as 1980. Until his death on October 7, 1982, he remained a staunch advocate of the classical mode.
Shutze's interest extended beyond architecture. The interior furnishing of structures concerned him and he often assisted his patrons in selecting antiques for their homes. Shutze was devoted to the cultivation and growing of the Camellia Japonica. During the 1930s, he added a greenhouse onto his residence and introduced many exotic camellia varieties into the Atlanta area. Shutze also collected furniture, porcelains, silver, objects d'art, paintings, books, photographs, professional papers, drawings, and other items of decorative arts, which he bequeathed to the Atlanta Historical Society.
Dowling, Elizabeth M. Philip Trammell Shutze: American Classicist. Rizzoli, 1989.
Shutze collection, Atlanta Historical Society.
Group I (1) (2) (3)
The proposed nomination of the Swan House meets the above-referenced 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.