Embark on a journey through time as we delve into the rich history of these six architectural wonders of Macon, Georgia.
With more than 6,000 historic homes and building on the National Register of Historic Places, Macon's streets preserve the past with our beautiful architecture. This shines true with the homes of the beautiful InTown Neighborhood and beyond! Talk a walk through this historic sector of town and you can see architectural marvels around every turn. Take a look at just a few of the homes you should be sure to see on your next visit.
The Woodruff House
This Greek Revival Mansion was built in 1836. Tt was designed reminiscent of a Greek Temple, with 18 Columns at the front of the home. Cowles, the original owner of the home was a railroad financier, and one of the founders of Macon's Wesleyan College. once hosted a ball for Winnie Davis, daughter of Jefferson Davis.
In 1836, Prominent Railroad financier Jere Cowles enlisted the help of one of Macon's most notable builders - Alexander Elam to construct his new home. He requested the home project wealth and luxury, choosing a pristine location for the home, overlooking the city atop College Hill. The home projected the wealth and grandeur fitting for a titan of industry such as Cowles, who is credited with turning Macon railroad network hub. The home changed hands many times, and housed General Wilson during the Union occupation of the city in 1865.
The home was later entrusted to Mercer University in 1981 and named “the Woodruff House” in honor of George W. Woodruff. The home is now utilized by the University for events.
The Carmichael House
Built in the late 1840s by master builder Elam Alexander, (also was responsible for the construction of the Woodruff House and the Cannonball House), this two-story wood frame structure is a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture. The house features a unique layout in the form of a Greek cross, complete with Ionic-columned porches, a central octagonal cupola, and elegant details like broad pilasters and pedimented gable ends.
The interior is equally captivating, showcasing a remarkable free-standing spiral staircase that ascends to the cupola, along with first-floor public chambers adorned with columned niches. Originally described in Howard Major's Domestic Architecture of the Early American Republic as a striking representation of the period, the Carmichael House remains one of Elam Alexander's most elaborate and well-preserved works.
The Cannonball House
Built by Judge Asa Holt in 1853, this Greek Revival home was the only Macon home that sustained damage during the Civil War. You can see a bronzed cannon forged in 1864 at the Macon Arsenal displayed in the front yard.
The home was struck by Federal artillery during the raid of the city by General George Stoneman’s Cavalry. The residence is now home to a museum showcasing artifacts from the Civil War Era. Visitors can take a forty-five minute guided tour through the home and the English Garden.
"Villa Albacini" shines as one of North Macon’s architectural marvel. Nestled across from the iconic Wesleyan College, this architectural masterpiece, conceived in the 1920s by the renowned architect Philip Trammell, earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Originally envisioned as the residence, greenhouse, and gardens of nationally acclaimed florist Daniel C. Horgan, this residence stands as a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship achieved by Beaux-Arts-trained eclectic architects, skillfully blended the timeless allure of Neoclassicism with the design sensibilities of their era, crafting this unique and captivating architectural gem.
The "Crisco" House
This beautiful 12,862-square-foot residence was originally built in 1901 by Crisco inventor William McCaw. It was designed by Macon architect, Alexander Blair III, who can also be credited with the Grand Opera House. However, the home owes much of its fame to a stay from famed playwright Tennesse Williams.
In the 1940s, Tennessee Williams became friends with Jordan Massee Jr., son of wealthy Maconite William Jordan Massee Sr.
The Massee family invited the playwright for an extended stay in their Macon mansion, known as "The Crisco House," which was o Inspired by the captivating presence of Massee Sr., Williams created the character "Big Daddy" in the play. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and was said to be Williams' favorite work.
The Hay House
Constructed in 1859, the Hay House’s grandeur and remarkable Italian Renaissance Revival architectural style earned the moniker “Palace of the South”. But its allure extends beyond its charming facade. This historic residence offered a level of luxury that was far ahead of its time. It boasted amenities such as hot and cold running water, central heating, gas lighting, a speaker-tube system, an in-house kitchen, and an elaborate ventilation system. The home boasts a marvel of seven floors, the Basement & Wine Cellar, the Main Level, the Bedroom Level, and the crown of the home, the stunning two-story Cupola. Visitors can take a guided tour through the main floors of the home, and twice a month, they offer a special behind the scenes tour, showcasing all seven floors.
This home is also rumored to be one of the cities most haunted residences, visitors have recounted spine-tingling experiences within its walls, including sightings of an elderly woman dressed in mid-1800s attire wandering through the hallways, and the Hay House offers their annual Legends & Lore tour, which takes visitors on an eerie tour through the home’s haunted history.
Mackenzie Manley is the Creative Content Manager at Visit Macon, where she has seamlessly blended her creative prowess and media expertise to showcase the captivating soul of Macon, Georgia.
Her contributions help further Macon's reputation as a hub for creativity, making it an ideal destination for film enthusiasts and artistic minds alike with the Macon Film Festival.