I didn’t expect to be doing much this summer, much less working for the Georgia Trust driving around backroads inspecting old houses. But here I am with a temporary desk on the 3rd floor of Rhodes Hall, a ca. 1906 Romanesque Revival “castle” stuck in the bend of Peachtree and hemmed in by the beginning of Buford Highway and I-75/85. Idyllic location. Of course, it WAS an idyllic location when Amos Rhodes first picked this hilltop location on his 114 acres that extended mostly west from Peachtree (what is now the 75/85 interchange) but this is hard to picture from the ground. It is much easier to imagine the sea of green land and the sweeping view down Peachtree toward downtown from the top of the Rhodes Hall tower.
On my first day there K gave me the tour, introducing me to people, and showing off appropriate rooms. A tour of the famed Civil War windows I did not get though, upon later observations i must admit they’re pretty magnificent. No, the best part of my tour was the Attic. Straight up we went and looked out a 3rd floor attic window onto the front yard and Peachtree. The massive stones are exposed on the interior and rafters spun up the underside of the roof of the turretted corner we were in, the heavy wooden floor and rafters had that wonderful smell and feel of well-built older homes: a smell of quality wood and the undisturbed age of a place. My desk would be located in the 3rd floor gymnasium, though i couldn’t help wondering how much use this place actually got. For a home begun when the children must’ve been nearly grown and then given over to the State of Georgia for “historical purposes” less than 30 years later after Mr. and Mrs. Amos Rhodes’ deaths. Something else wonderful about working in this place is how the people, the offices, and particularly the 3rd floor remind me of my childhood days in the offices at the Old Capitol. Yes, i feel a little bit at home here (: