Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shutze's "Ferst House" is a fairy tale castle.

I went the 2011 Shutze Awards last night, at the Piedmont Driving Club, me and about 400 of my best friends. More on that later. In the meantime congratulations to the winners and to architecture tourists everywhere: Folks want to build beautiful places and the talent is here to do it. People left HAPPY. Oh, Phoenix Flies is coming. Click the link up there.

The very best thing about the Shutze weekend is meeting fellow enthusiasts when they are in the mood. I found Wright Marshall and I asked if he knew anything about this house. Without hesitating Wright said, "It's a Shutze House and it's in the book."

The neighborhood is a house museum. Yet this house, barely showing some ankle, seduces in a glance. It was love at first sight for me, more than 30 years ago.

Thing is, you really can't see it, only Zen views, even in the winter. Tall bushes line the curving gravel driveway. Something is there, the rough-hewn flattop obelisks give it away. So you slow down, creep past the driveway. There is something up there.

So I went to the book:

It's the "Monie Ferst House" 1929 by Philip Shutze. "It may be his only design in the style."
American Classicist: The Architecture of Philip Trammell Shutze by Elizabeth Meredith Dowling pp 138 - 139 has the plan and elevation.

Drive a bit past the driveway to catch another glimpse though the trees. There is a tower with a curvy roof.

Hat tip to blog serendipity. Fellow Architecture Tourist and architect Tom Matthews from Denver wrote Holly at Things that Inspire. (Tom's an architect, not me.) Tom's friend Dewitt Petty must be an AT after my own heart, a long distance house stalker. He'd found a picture of the Ferst house and wanted to know more. Holly referred Tom to me. Here we go: Dewitt > Tom > Holly > Terry (me) > Wright > me > Facebook > Tom, Holly, James, et al > Dewit > Architecture Tourist.

Philip Trammell Shutze moves us 80 year later. A 1929 French Normandy bends web-space and time. Your sentimental host is grateful.



  1. Great stuff Terry. I'm already planning a scouting trip.

  2. Not sure if you're still active here but you can see the INSIDE of the house and all the grounds this week. The home was sold to Fernbank and Peachtree Battle Estate Sales is hosting a sale today and tomorrow. I was there today and it is spectacular. Everything hinted in your photos is on full display. Turret, circular staircase, etc. The gardens are even better.


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