(If you are a brick expert, please stick with me 'til the end.)
Attention Architecture Tourists: Get yourself out to Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 2012 Decorators' Show House & Gardens benefit, the last day is May 13, Click this link to find out everything you need to know.
I mean it, I'm taking names and this WILL go on your permanent record. The house is great, the decor is great. This will probably our only opportunity to see it.
I went yesterday as a blogger courtesy of Atlanta Symphony Associates. Thanks to Allison Ford for thinking of me.
It's the Kriser House next door to the Governor's Mansion by Hentz, Alder, and Shutze, Architects. From Betty' Dowling's American Classicist:
"One of his earliest fully developed American works is the W. H. Kriser house of 1929 known as Knollwood. Shutze developed this house from his study of Chatham in Stratford County, Virginia (1765). He translated the orginal stucco house into a brick Georgian mass with a one-story portico that spans the curving arrival drive."
Jim Strickland and Andrew Cogar, leaders of Historical Concepts were there to give a talk so I asked them what they liked about the house. Jim's first words were, "It's so comfortable."
Comfortable? I think that's exactly right. It impresses, but rather than intimidate, it comforts. It's uncanny. It's why you'll be glad you went.
The original shutters probably rotted away many years ago but the shutter dogs and layered paint show graceful aging.
Here the south side, the "front" that faced Paces Ferry before the property was parceled out.
I could barely absorb a single room. I had my tiny camera in my pocket but my photography skills were no match for the interiors.
I just wanted to look. I kept bumping into other lookers, I did years worth of "pardon me" in a couple of hours. The hosts wore red sashes and politely kept their eye on me.
My favorite interior place was the north enfilade. Go to the atrium and look back into the house through the north door all the way back to the stairs. I walked back and forth between the stairs and atrium. Don't doubt me out this.
The lady's master bath was like the inside of a diamond. Attention men: take a few deep breaths before entering.
Back outside the brick turns out to be architecture rocket science.
I took a picture of an inside/outside corner. It's straightforward, sturdy, and solid Flemish bond. But Shutze designed brick requires an even a closer look.
What are those Rowlocks (or Bull Headers) doing in Flemish Bond? I tried to look it up.
And what is the story with the mortar and pointing? Trompe l'Oeil?
One visit was not enough but my little brain was quite full.
I lingered on the street to admire the cobblestones, beautiful but challenging for ladies in heels.
It's a good look so I used my business card to get the scale.
When your grandchildren ask if you've ever been to Knollwood, you'll want to say yes.