By Collin Kelley
Preservationists plan to move the historic Randolph-Lucas House in Buckhead to the Ansley Park neighborhood before the end of summer.
The once-endangered mansion will be the private home of NewTown Partners’ founders, Christopher Jones and Roger Smith, returning the mansion to its residential roots for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Jones said he and Smith closed on the property at 98 Peachtree Circle in May, but at press time there wasn’t a definite timeline for the move. “We’re working with the city, utilities and the DOT,” he said. “It’s a big endeavor. We’ve received nothing but extreme support.”
The 1924 home is currently located at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Lindbergh Drive, just north of Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. Noted Atlanta architect P. Thornton Marye designed the Georgian-Revival style home for Hollins Randolph, a great-great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson, based on Randolph’s ancestral home near Charlottesville, Va. Margaret Lucas owned the house until her death in 1987.
The house was moved once before – although only a few dozen feet – to make way for the 2500 Peachtree Road condominium project in 1998. The condo association agreed to maintain the home and use it for functions, but the maintenance required quickly became cost-prohibitive and the house fell into disrepair.
Last fall, the 2500 Peachtree Road Condo Association was issued a demolition permit by the city of Atlanta. They offered to give the home away for free if someone could move it to a new location by the end of this summer.
With the assistance of Buckhead Heritage, a historical preservation organization, the city and the condo association, Jones and Smith proved that they had the financial resources and a location for the home. Jones, a historic preservation major, said he couldn’t imagine the house being demolished because of its significance to the city.
“The house has everything you look for architecturally, and it’s appropriate infill for the Ansley Park neighborhood,” Jones said.
Jones said he was excited that the Marye-designed Randolph-Lucas House would soon sit next to a home designed by another of Atlanta’s famed architects, Philip T. Shutze.
“We plan to return the home to its original 1924 appearance,” Jones said. “We’re photographing, videotaping and have drawings so that everything will be put back into place after the move.”
Jones said once the house is in Ansley Park, he and Smith will donate a preservation façade easement to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, ensuring that the house can never be torn down, and that all future exterior changes or additions follow preservation standards.