Swan House - The Private Rooms

The house's second floor included his-and-hers bedrooms and additional family bedrooms. For such a grand staircase from below, it went "nowhere" - as the family rooms were private spaces.

By Atlanta History Center

Not Boring: Drama, Beauty, and Decoration.


Flowery chintz wallpaper and fabric dominate the room, abiding to decorator Elise de Wolfe’s dictum that “the effect is the thing you are after, isn’t it?”
 
It is more to the point of de Wolfe’s ghostwriter, Ruby Ross Wood, who basically believed the worst a house could be was boring.
 
Shutze, too, looked to drama in design. In 1915, he received the prestigious Prix de Rome award. 

As a result, he studied buildings and gardens throughout Italy – including service driving ambulances in World War I.
 
While there, he measured, photographed, and sketched designs from ancient Rome, the Renaissance, and – Shutze’s favorite – the beauty and decoration of Italian Baroque.
 
 

Mrs. Inman's Bedroom

The only second-floor room with original furnishings is Mrs. Inman’s Bedroom.
 
Like many wealthy couples in the 1920s and 1930s, Emily and Edward Inman had adjoining bedrooms – with a door connecting the two rooms. Following Edward’s death in 1931, Emily used his room as an office and sitting room.
 
Philip Shutze relates that Mrs. Inman owned and cherished the mantelpiece from her first house and insisted it be reinstalled here. Shutze’s memories of Mrs. Inman years later recall her steady involvement in the house’s design.
 
Though relatively young, Shutze was hardly an aspiring architect. Born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1890, he entered the School of Architecture at today’s Georgia Tech in 1908 on full scholarship. 

While a student, he worked for the prestigious local firm of Hentz & Reid. After graduation in 1912, he received a second bachelor degree in architecture from Columbia University.

Power Houses


Returning from Italy, Shutze worked for a variety of firms in New York. 

In Atlanta, the firm in which he worked as a student needed a designer. He abandoned New York for Atlanta in 1923 to work for his old firm. 

In 1927, he became a partner and the firm became Hentz, Adler & Shutze.
 
In a short period of time, Shutze became the premier residential architect of Atlanta’s power elite, designing Baroque-inspired homes for prominent families – Calhoun, Inman, Thornton – before the arrival of the Great Depression.

Bathing in Style

Shutze hired Italian immigrant Athos Menaboni to paint Mrs. Inman’s Bathroom. 

In addition to the faux green marble walls, he painted draperies on the mirrors, swans on the ceiling, and stars over the cabinets. 

He painted over the actual marble in the room to match the effect of his faux marble. 

The room features a wicker toilet cover and a modern shower (as did Mr. Inman’s private bathroom). 

The shower stall includes a toe-tester at the base of the back wall to check the water temperature before turning on the shower head.  

The Top of the Stairs

Those allowed to climb Emily Inman’s spiral staircase arrived at an expansive second-floor landing. From this space, the floor includes four bedrooms: Mr. Inman’s bedroom, Mrs. Inman’s bedroom, and two guest rooms.
 
Following Mr. Inman’s death, the guest rooms were used by Hugh and Mildred, Emily’s son and daughter-in-law, and by their children, Sam and Mimi.
 
In 2020, Atlanta History Center received a gift from patron Emily Bourne Grigsby to renovate two of the rooms into exhibition galleries.
 
As a result, the hall also contains exhibition-related content. The exhibition at the time of photography, Any Great Change, commemorated the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
 
The renovated exhibition galleries were once Mr. Inman’s bedroom and the room used by Hugh and Mildred Inman.

The Children's Room

Today, the Children’s Room is an interactive space allowing younger visitors in the house to play, design their own houses, and other activities. 

The room is part of Connor’s Kid Quest, Atlanta History Center’s concept of unstructured play. 

The play spaces appear throughout the History Center’s 33 acres of Goizueta Gardens as well inside the historic houses and all exhibitions. 

A Single Tub

Of the four bathrooms on the second floor, this is the only one with a bathtub. 

The other three have showers only. 

By the 1920s and 1930s, bathing increased in frequency after electrically heated water became more common. 

Showers were seen as offering the best hygiene in bathing along with commercially made soap. 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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