The Mansions of Madison
Nowhere in Georgia is there a finer selection of Greek Revival, Neoclassical Victorian and Romanesque architecture, and it's only an hour from Atlanta.
If you find yourself traveling about an hour south of Atlanta, you'll swear you stepped into a time machine. The small town of Madison, with its 100 antebellum homes and quaint town square has been called "the prettiest little town in America" and "the town too pretty to burn." According to legend, much of the town was spared when General Sherman's Union Army marched through as he was so taken with the architecture. Truth be told, Senator Joshua Hill, a Madison native, was friendly with Sherman's brother and much of the town was spared based on this friendship and Hill’s pro-Union sympathies.
Whatever story you believe, the homes of Madison are absolutely breathtaking and several of them are for sale, including the unique and eclectic Hunter House on South Main Street, a product of Madison's post-Reconstruction mercantile wealth. John Hudson Hunter built the home in 1883 with money he made in the furniture business and from a drugstore. In a style that can be referred to as Victorian eclecticism, the asymmetrical plan accommodates congeries of wings, porches and gables that protrude in all directions. Much of the original detailing remains intact, including Hunter's initials that are carved on the three round arches on the downstairs porch.
Tour the Historic Hunter HouseView All 8 Photos
Listed at $599,000, the home has five bedrooms and four baths, a separate dining room, a great room, a library/parlor, seven fireplaces and much of the original hardwood flooring. The Hunter House is referred to as “the most photographed house” in Georgia and ready for a new owner that will give it the TLC it deserves.
Even if you aren’t house hunting, a day trip to Madison for the examples of Greek Revival, Neoclassical Victorian and Romanesque architecture is definitely worth it. Downtown boasts more than 100 antique dealers and several places to grab a bite to eat. Or spend the night at one of the town’s bed and breakfasts like the James Madison Inn or the Madison Oaks Inn and Gardens. The state’s only dude ranch, the Southern Cross Guest Ranch, is also located in Madison.