The Castle on Peachtree Street

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Amos Giles Rhodes was born in Kentucky in 1850s. Twenty-six years later, he married Amanda Wilmot Dougherty in Atlanta, Georgia and began his furniture business that extended to 35 locations throughout the Southeast. His grand home that is still til this day admired by visitors from all over began a trip to Europe. He found himself marveled by the Rhineland Castles during his trip in 1890s. He was so much inspired that upon returning home he began making plans to build his family home in a similar style.

Back in the 1900s, Peachtree Street was considered a fashionable residential area, lined with large residences. Between 1901 and 1906, Rhodes assembled an estate of 114 acres, stretching across Tanyard Creek and including most of the present-day Brookwood Interchange at I-75/85. He hired architect Willis F. Denny II to bring his vision to life. Rhodes Memorial Hall was built in Romanesque Revival and infused with Victorian elements. Construction began in 1902.

Locally quarried Stone Mountain granite was acquired for the towers, turrets, and battlements of Rhodes' castle home. It also contains ornate woodwork, murals, intricate parquet floors, colorful mosaics, a carved mahogany staircase and exquisite stained glass windows. The house was wired for electricity to power the 300 light bulbs, call buttons (in most rooms) and a security system. The castle was completed in 1904, costing nearly $50,000.

The Rhodes family lived in the home until Mrs. Rhodes death in 1927 and Mr. Rhodes death about a year later. Their two children J. D. Rhodes and Mrs. L. O. Bricker deeded the house and just under an acre of the original estate to the State of Georgia with one restriction. The property could only be used for "historic purposes." In 1930, the building opened as the home of the State Archives until 1965 when a more modern building was constructed on Capital Avenue. However, Rhodes Hall continued to serve as the Peachtree Branch of the Archives. In 1983, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation signed a lease with the State of Georgia and made Rhodes Hall their headquarters for The Georgia Trust. The property went through restorations of the mechanical and electrical systems and the re-installation of original staircase and windows that had been removed to the State Archives facility.

From 1984 to 1992, the house was used as a haunted house attraction every year for Halloween, but is it really haunted? Employees and visitors to the Castle on Peachtree Street have witnessed a variety of activity. Some have seen a little girl on the 1st Floor Foyer and 2nd Floor Landing. No confirmation if it is the same girl. There are also reports of a tall man believed to be that of Amos Rhodes and that of an older woman in a white dress. The door in the attic has been known to open and close and sometimes lock from the inside on its own. Other reports include voices, being touched, and sudden decrease in temperature.


Matthew MacNish said…
This is awesome. There is also this weird/kitschy/campy fake castle looking house in Alpharetta/Roswell which is just outside Atlanta.

Not as cool as the one downtown, but still interesting.

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