Leila Ross Wilburn was the first female architect in Georgia.. She began her practice 1909. Wilburn executed few commissioned residences, she established a successful practice and reputation based on the wide distribution of her plan books. Wilburn-designed houses proliferated throughout neighborhoods and suburbs of Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia, where there are more houses by Wilburn than by any other architect from any period. She insisted that the design and construction of the American home should not be reserved only for those who could afford an architect. To reach a wider audience, the young architect produced a series of “Pattern Books,” from which people could choose a design and purchase construction plans. In a half-century of work, she left a legacy of homes, apartments and commercial buildings in the southeast. Today, her homes may be seen in the MAK Historic District of Decatur, Georgia, and Ansley Park, Druid Hills and Candler Park and East Lake in Atlanta.
G r e g M i x
& A s s o c i a t e s A r c h i t e c t s I nc A.I.A.
A Studio of Southeast Studios Inc. email@example.com 770-806-8866
Restoration of A Historic Home in Atlanta, Georgia
The house was originally designed and built as a duplex by a man for his two daughters. Each daughter had a separate flat on each floor and the basement contained the servants quarters. Construction was finished in 1920. In fact we found a construction photo of the house from 1920 in records of The Kenan Research Center at The Atlanta History Society. Over the years the house became run down and neglected. By the time the new owners bought the property the house had become unlivable.
As you can see from the photographs the original carpentry on the existing front porch must have been done by expert carpenter. All of the exterior trim and porch work was built from Florida Cypress wood, a wood that is naturally very resistant to rot and decay, and that is probably why it is so well preserved. Still much work was required to strip away, sand down or repair eighty-five years of old paint, dirt and neglect. Once we removed the heavy layers of old paint from the cantilevered porch and two story columns and repainted them, they looked like new. Due to the deteriorated condition of the brick and mortar the owner also decided to seal and protect it with paint.
To begin the project we carefully took measurements and created plans and elevations of the existing house on our computer aided drafting system. Once this was done we began work with the owner to on the new floor plans and elevations.
The house is located at 1304 North Avenue in Atlanta. It is in the Candler Park neighborhood on the edge Druid Hills. Due to strict of site restrictions of the City of Atlanta much coordination with the Department of Planning and the Department of Zoning was required.
The main entrance leads into the first floor living room of the first floor duplex unit. While the second floor unit was accessed from a single door on the left side of the front porch. In order to convert the structure into a single-family residence we replaced this entry door with a window and replaced the stairway with stair that is open to the living room. This did much to open up the first floor of the house and made the living room feel much larger.