Randolph-Lucas Move Postponed

The relocation of the historic Randolph-Lucas house is delayed though her bags and bricks are packed and ready to go.

Photo courtesy Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation The historic Atlanta home is ready for her big move down Peachtree Road from Buckhead to Ansley Park. 

For those of you eager to follow that Grand Dame of Peachtree Road, the Randolph-Lucas house, as she relocates to Peachtree Circle, we have an update: She will not be making her move until sometime in October. The move was tentatively scheduled for this weekend, but that was postponed.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of factors to consider when moving a 7,000-square-foot house. For starters, the power and cable lines must be taken down and the two-and-a-half-mile stretch of Peachtree Road from Buckhead to Ansley Park must be closed.

The new owners, Christopher Jones and Roger Smith, however, have learned throughout this entire process that patience is more than a virtue — it’s a necessity.

Photo by: Holly Aguirre The home will travel on flatbeds two miles south toward downtown to its new location in Ansley Park. 

“If we let every little thing bother us we’d have quit a long time ago,” said Smith. “Of course we are ready for it to happen, but we knew from the very beginning that this wasn’t going to be an easy process.” 

Truth be told, it was Jones who hatched the scheme to take on the colossal project. When he first heard that the home was in peril of demolition and being given away free of charge, he drove Smith by the house, gauging his level of enthusiasm. Smith thought Jones would surely never find the right lot and then they could go back to their lives in their comfortable brick bungalow with their cat, Huey. 

Jones sought out the perfect spot and much to his surprise (and Smith’s), he didn’t have to go very far. 

“I found the perfect lot less than a mile from where we are now,” said Jones. “We made an offer, it was accepted and here we are.” 

Smith said that he secretly wished that the house wouldn’t fit, but then every little piece started falling into place and the whole thing made sense. First came the blessing and encouragement from his mother and then the outpouring of support from friends, neighbors and total strangers. Then they found the perfect “surgeon,” Bobby Campbell, who will saw their lady in half and house mover James Morehead. 

“We were at the Botanical Gardens one night for a party and this little lady came over and said she played in a playhouse at the Randolph-Lucas house when she was little,” said Smith. “She asked if she could come and be there for the move.” 

Smith and Jones would continue to hear tales and of everyone’s desire to follow the house down Peachtree. So, they’re inviting all to join her journey. 

Photo by: Holly Aguirre All of the window casings are being preserved and re-installed at the new location. 

“No matter what time of the night or morning it is, there are folks who are going to have their cocktail parties and celebrate the move,” said Jones. “We also invite anyone’s stories and remembrances of the home. The more the merrier.” 

In spite of all the hurdles and red tape to trip over at every turn, Jones and Smith remain upbeat. We’ve seen lesser relationships crumble over an afternoon at IKEA; imagine falling in love with a historic home and then agreeing to saw it in half and put it back together. And then endure the rainiest summer since 1929, causing numerous delays and setbacks. 

The lady, though, is ready. As she stands now, all her bricks are removed, her interior stripped. Everything is in a storage facility just waiting to go back into place. 

“We’re hoping to celebrate Christmas in the new Randolph-Smith-Jones-Lucas house,” laughs Jones. “But if we have to wait a few more days, that’s OK, too.” 

Stay tuned, house watchers. We will let you know when the parade begins. 

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