Box 13, Folder 3, Document 79

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Box 13, Folder 3, Document 79

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Post Office Box 1
Atlanta Georgia
lfarch 4 1967
Honora ble Iv an _ llen Jr
'ia yor , City Ha ll
Atlanta Ga
Dear 1ayor Allen:
Thank you for your k i nd inquiry of January 24 r e ga rding the
prope rty a t 327 s t Paul venue S . Th is i s t h e LP . G~ant
h ome . t t h e ti me it was built about 1850 i t was near the
cen ter of 3,000 a cres owned by colonel Grant. Thi s wa s
appr oximately t he same area whi ch you pr op ose to renew .
we ap olo gi ze for delaying rep ly, but we had h oped to have a
personal i nterview. Si n ce t his has not been co nvenient, we send
this le t ter so tha t you can move ahea d with any plans you have i n
conn ection with t he renewal/ pr oject.
When t he historians told you that this is an i mp ortant house
in Atlanta ' s history t h ey may not have to ld you t he most i mp ortant
event in the histpr y of this l andmark. This event wa s Mar garet
Mit chell and her book "Gone with the Wind" .
The full st ory of Mar garet ti tchell ' s a ss ocia tion with th~s h ouse
probably will not be told until I publish I?,Y "FO:bidden ?3--og:aphy
of Margaret Mi tchell 11 --,hi ch cannot be published in the lifetime of
Stephens Mitchell, the wr iter's brother. T e true story dep icts
he r brother and her husband as rascals . They conspired wi th others
and seized control of her fortune . ~She wa s frustrated in her own
p l ans to r e store t he Grant House and make -z it a p ublic museum . If she
had com~Jet ed her p lans Atlanta wo~ld have received a cherished
mementol of t h e author provided by t he writer herself, a true memorial.
Oakland c:C,eme tery, the site of Fulton Bag and of course Grant Park
were once part of the l and a tta ched to t hi present h ouse. The h ouse
is of brick and fieldstone, a1d struct urally sound desp ite its
appea r ance.
I~rgaret ~ itchell and I purchas ed t he property 27 yea rs ago to prevent
it being convert ed into tenements. Our ori ginal restoration pl ans
included p urchase of 14 f r ame dwell ings in t he same block, razing them
and using the entire block fo r gardens and parking area. The 14 houses
are on small lots and probab ly could be bought for an ave rage of
$ 5,000 each.
le pla ced title i n Hi sto ric HOuse IiiUseum Corporation ~hich under its
charter and under Georgia l aw is t axfree . Assist ant Ctty Attorney
Charles Murphy, however, very s tubbornly re quire d us to pay t axe s until
we recently went into court and p ut the Tax com_~_issioner under a
restraining order . This at titude on the part of the City had pre judiced
us ~gainst any negoti ations with t he city, but we will not hold this
a~ainst y~u . ,fo ar~ delighted to learn that a t least someone in the
?ity has inter~st in prese~ving a landmark. We had thought the only
interest the Ctty had was in the possible tax revenue.
Post Office Box 1
Atlanta Georgia
( 2)
our prejudi ce a ga inst t he c±ty a lso stems fr om viayor Hartsfield ' s
a dmi nistration . \ tt Harts f i e l d wanted to opera te a Grant House museum
ill conne ction with Gr ant P~rk Cycfu or ~ma . ~ b i g oak_iP.:,, ~ront _of the
Grant House shovvs on t he dis~a- t h ori z on in the pa1nt~1ng . owever,

Ir Hartsfield disrupte d ne gqe,iations vi.hen he hinted~ hat he would

t a ke t he pr operty by condemnation .
',/e do n ot wish to show t he interior of the h ouse until we c an remove
our 10 ,000-v olume l ibr a ry an d other belon gings. We n eed 12 mon ths
f or moving, but we will start i mmed i ately.
·e recent ly r ef used an offer of $40, 000 be cause t he buyers i nten ded
to convert t h e h-euse into apar t ment s. We alway s ha ve held t he
property for re¥>ration a n d p reservation. · e have refused to rent
it for fear tenant s v ould dama ge ito The h ouse occup i es a lot 100 by
240 feet , extendi ng through t h e block fr om St Pa ul to Orl eans Street .
The l ot is a bout one third of t h e block in ar ea.
I you care to buy the pr operty s i ght un seen and within th e next 60
d ys we woul d be will ing to:
ccep t $40,000.
2. Throw in s ui t able antique f urniture which we va :}.ue a t $20,000.
J o Drop our cla i m for $1,600 ba ck t axe s and dismi s s t h e pre sent
liti gation.
rn our ef f ort s to preserve t he h ouse we ha ve pa sse d up ~75,000 i n
pBs sible r ents.
ny fun ds which we derive fr om sale6L'he property would be used for
restorati on and preservat ion of ot~ l andma r k s.
rf you wish to go into ot he r de t a ils, p l eas e write and we wi ll c a l l
fdr ap yointme nt . I~ do n ot ha ve a tele phone.
\;i th cordial good wishes
Boyd Eugen~
~{::;J" ·-

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