Box 13, Folder 3, Document 79

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HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM CORPORATION
Post Office Box 1 Atlanta Georgia 30301

March 4 1967
Honorable Ivan Allen Jr
Mayor, City Hall
Atlanta Ga

Dear Mayor Allen:

Thank you for your kind inquiry of January 24 regarding the
property at 327 St Paul Avenue S E. This is the L P. G¥ant
home. At the time it was built about 1850 it was near the
center of 3,000 acres owned by COlonel Grant. This was
approximately the same area which you propose to renew.

We apologize for delaying reply, but we had hoped to have a
pérsonal interview. Since this has not been convenient, we send
this letter so that you can move ahead with any plans you have in
connection with the renewalyproject.

When the historians told you that this is an important house

in Atlanta's history they may not have told you the most important
event in the histpry of this landmark. This event was Margaret
Mitchell and her book "Gone with the Wind".

The full story of Margaret Mitchell's association with this house
probably will not be told until I publish my "FOrbidden Blography

of Margaret Mitchell" which cannot be published in the lifetime of
Stephens Vitchell, the writer's brother. Tye true story depicts

her brother and her husband as rascals. They conspired with others

and seized control of her fortune.:She was frustrated in her own

plans to restore the Grant House and make # it a public museum. If she
had completed her planS Atlanta would have received a cherished
mementog’ of the author provided by the writer herself, a true memorial.

Oakland Cemetery, the site of Fulton Bag,and of course Gpant Park
were once part of the land attached to the present house. The house
is of brick and fieldstone, and structurally sound despite its
appearance,

Margaret Mytchell and I purchased the property 27 years ago to prevent
it being converted into tenements. Our original restoration plans
included purchase of 14 frame dwellings in the same block, razing them
and using the entire block for gardens and parking area. The 14 houses
are on small lots and probably could be bought for an average of

gm $5,000 each.

We placed title in Historic HOuse \WUseum Corporation which under its
charter and under Georgia law is taxfree. Assistant City Attorney
Charles Murphy, however, very stubbornly required us to pay taxes until
we recently went into court and put the Tax Com-issioner under a
restraining order, This attitude on the part of the City had prejudiced
us against any negotiations with the city, but we will not hola this
against you, We are delighted to learn that at least someone in the
city has interest in preserving a landmark. We had thought the only
interest the Ojty had was in the possible tax revenue.

(more )




HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM CORPORATION
Post Office Box 1 Atlanta Georgia 30301

(2)
Our bre uct oe against the City also stems from Mayor Hartsfield's
administration. Mr Hartsfield wanted to operate a Gfant House museum
in connection with G,ant Park Cychorama. & big oak ip, front of the
Grant House shows on the disfant horizon in the pai ing. HOwever,
Mir Hartsfield disrupted neggffiations when he hinted that he would
take the property by condemnation.

Ve do not wish to show the interior of the house until we can remove
our 10,000-volume library and other belongings. We nsed 12 months
for moving, but we will start immediately.

We recently refused an offer of $40,000 because the buyers intended
to convert the hpuse into apartments, We always have held the
property for regoOration and preservation. We have refused to rent

it for fear tenants would damage it. The house occupies a lot 100 by
240 feet, extending through the block from St Paul to Orleans Street.
T4e lot is about one third of the block in area.

Ip you care to buy the property sight unseen and within the next 60
QeyS we would be willing to:

1. ACcept $40,000.
2. Throw in suitable antique furniture which we value at $20,000.

30 prep our claim for $1,600 back taxes and dismiss the present
litigation.

In our efforts to preserve the house we have passed up $75,000 in
pOssible rents.

Any funds which we derive from sardine property would be used for
restoration and preservation of other landmarks.

Tf you wish to go into other details, please write and we will call
for appointment. We do not have a telephone.
With cordial good wishes

HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM CO)

Boyd Bugene aylorY Trust


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