Hallowed Halls

SCAD preservation efforts yield great rewards for an Atlanta landmark residence

One of Atlanta’s oldest surviving Victorian-Queen Anne Revival homes, Ivy Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated Atlanta landmark building. As impressive as those accolades are, Ivy Hall’s most recent iteration is equally remarkable and notable for both the city and the arts.

In 1883 real estate developer Edward Peters commissioned renowned Swedish architect Gottfried Norrman to design the residence—a home that remained in the Peters family for over a century. Ivy Hall takes its name from the abundant ivy aesthetics Norrman integrated into the architecture that range from ivy wood carvings to a gilded quote from Charles Dickens’ poem The Ivy Green. The house survived the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917, and went on to become a restaurant. Today the 138-year-old residence is used for events and education in the arts.

When the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) acquired Ivy Hall, the house required extensive restoration—a process that was documented on PBS in The Art of Restoration. SCAD preservation design students conducted archival research, materials analysis and hands-on conservation. Exceptional efforts for adaptive reuse by the SCAD preservation team included reusing milled roof timbers for flooring, window and millwork repairs, as well as excavated sand for masonry mortar mix. SCAD interior design students integrated modern lighting systems and chose historically accurate paint colors for the interiors.

SCAD has received numerous awards for the restoration including the Georgia Trust Preservation Award for Excellence and the Philip Trammell Shutze Award for Craftsmanship from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. 

Ivy Hall remains a vital part of SCAD’s Atlanta campus and has served as an artist residence, literary salon, event space and lecture hall. With renowned authors including Margaret Atwood, Colson Whitehead and Augusten Burroughs gracing the residence with readings, Ivy Hall continues to write her own illustrious path in Atlanta’s architectural annals.