Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Palmed and re-purposed in Va-Hi alley

Do you know about the palms in the alleys in Virginia Highland? You'll have to take my word for it because you'll never find this on your own. I will reveal the secret shortly.

I visit this alley once a week on business. I always enjoy this well kept house, fence, hidden courtyard, and outbuilding. The gravel parking lot in the city is a bonus.

Cruising Buckhead for great houses is like shooting fish in a barrel. Finding one in an alley a block from Ponce is a special delight for architecture tourists.

This one has what I call Charleston appeal: maintaining beauty, individuality, and privacy in crowded neighborhoods. I know there are many such neighborhoods, but Charleston made the first impression on me.

It's a rather big 1913 craftsman re-purposed as a bed and breakfast. Zoning in most neighborhoods would never allow this sort of thing.

Virginia Highland was planned as an old-school suburb, a plan now championed by new urbanists. Useful businesses are within walking distance. Zoning is denser near thoroughfares. That plan, the general flatness of the topography, street grid, and some luck, make Va-Hi one of the coolest places in town.

Instead of a 100 year-old white elephant single family house, we have a handsome, well kept place where visitors and locals can soak up the neighborhood atmosphere, do some funky shopping, and walk to dinner. They can even get married among the palms in the courtyard.

This modest, un-looked-for delight is what keeps architecture tourists happy.

The upstairs with the balcony is the Ivy Cottage of the Gaslight Inn on St. Charles.

terry @

P.S. My favorite attempt at creating the Charleston effect in Atlanta is Glenwood Park.


  1. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that you do something that I also do...sneak about looking at houses and buildings. Loved this post. I just returned from my own "drive thru" and found some groovy things.

    Good work, Nancy Drew!

  2. Even taking a long look at places in public seems like sneaking. I try to find places on my regular routes that feel good to me and try to figure out why. There are 2 funky batches of streets in Candler Park I want to blog. I don't know how to capture them without scaring the folks that live there.

  3. so cool!!! It's a B&B? Might have to make a reservation...

    LOVVEEE Charleston!

  4. Terry- I admit I was disappointed you had no suggestions for the weekend! I had counted on you! :-)

    Funny you posted on this today though as I'm thinking of a stroll through VA-Hi though- shops, lunch, etc. Love the palm trees.

  5. Very cool location.I have to wonder how the palm trees survive the winters?

  6. Who knew it was a B&B?? Agree with all you say about VA Highland being so livable.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  7. The roof and rafter tails. Love that.


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