Callanwolde Honors Former Executive Director With Garden

With ground already broken, the Dr. Sam Goldman Memorial Garden will be revealed in August.

Photo by: Julie and David Fisher The existing fountain will be incorporated into the design of the memorial for Callanwolde's Dr. Sam Goldman. 

Dr. Sam Goldman loved everything about his job as executive director of Atlanta’s Callanwolde Arts Center. And everything about Callanwolde screams Southern-Gothic charm and mystery. Even Pat Conroy nicknamed an unsavory character in The Prince of Tides after the romantic-yet-somehow-foreboding structure.

Situated in a deep wooded area, the 27,000-square-foot Gothic-Tudor style mansion sits way off Briarcliff Road near Emory University and Virginia Highlands. Dr. Goldman loved navigating the long driveway every day and going to his job where he led arts programs for young and old.

He passed away suddenly last September 2012 after suffering from respiratory stress. Goldman was 63 and employed at Callanwolde more than half his life.

Designed in 1917 for Coca-Cola heir Charles Howard Candler, Callanwolde was completed in 1920 and the family resided there for close to 40 years. When Candler died his wife remained in the home for nine years and then, in a spirit of goodwill, she donated the property to Emory University with many of its furnishings intact.

A few years later it was purchased by a church and then leased to an artist who had grandiose plans of turning it into an art gallery. If the walls could talk we’d know exactly how it fell into extreme disrepair and who ran off with many of the original fixtures and set fire to one of the bedroom floors. Before further harm could befall upon the property, it was put up for sale again and eventually landed in the hands of Dekalb County after concerned citizens, like Goldman, raised funds and rallied to have the home placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To celebrate the life and work of Dr. Goldman, friends are working with the Callanwolde Board of Directors and dedicating the Callanwolde’s Fountain Garden in his memory. The poolhouse, which he was in charge of renovating, also bears his namesake.

Garden enhancements will include surrounding hardscape design by Phillip Smith and landscape design by Craig Haugh of North Georgia Retaining Walls and Concrete. Construction on the garden began on May 6, 2013, and is set for completion the beginning of June 2013. 

The grounds of Callanwolde have seen tremendous change over the past 60 years. During the 1960s, the land was chopped up and two large tracts were sold. Of the original 27 acres, only 12 acres remain as part of Callanwolde’s opulent garden; however, friends and coworkers are hoping that the Sam Goldman Memorial will remain the same.

Contributors are invited to an opening event held on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013, at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. See Callanwolde's website for more information.

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