Glenridge Hall and the 76 acres it sits on is for sale. That concerns some groups who are interested in preserving its history and who fear the property near Abernathy Road and Ga. 400 could be razed by developers.
“Glenridge Hall represents a very important time in Sandy Springs history,” said Kimberly Brigance, director of historic resources and programs at Heritage Sandy Springs.
It represents Atlanta wealth. Brigance said that after the Civil War, it took about 20 years for the then-rural Sandy Springs to come back to pre-war agricultural prices. Wealthy Atlantans began to use Sandy Springs as a get-away location, as it was still fairly difficult to reach from the city of Atlanta.
“Families were building grand mansions meant to be showcases, summer homes, weekend retreats,” she said. “Glenridge Hall is the one that remains.”
She explained that while her group is not involved with architectural preservation, she’s pleased that the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation recently included Glenridge Hall on its 2015 list of the state’s 10 “places in peril.”
The Georgia Trust suggested in a press release announcing that Glenridge Hall was on its peril list that conservation easements and tax incentives could perhaps help preserve the home and grounds, which have been used in movies like “Driving Miss Daisy” and on the TV show “The Vampire Diaries.”
According to the Trust, the Tudor Revival estate was built in 1929 on 400 acres of farmland by Thomas K. Glenn, a pillar of the Atlanta business community.
In the 1980s, Glenn’s granddaughter, Frances Mayson, fought to preserve the property, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Mayson and her husband restored the home with the purpose of it being available to the public, and the home has been host to numerous charity functions and retreats through the years.
“We’re certainly very pleased that a group as prestigious [as the Georgia Trust] has taken notice of how important this structure is,” Brigance said. “Hopefully through their efforts more people will learn how important this beautiful structure is. Maybe it can be used like Callanwolde, [a historic home near Decatur now used as an arts center]. Maybe it can be woven into the future fabric of Sandy Springs.”
However, no protections are in place that would keep Glenridge Hall, now unoccupied, from being altered or demolished, or the property from being developed, the Georgia Trust says.
The 76 acres remaining with the home were put on the market over the summer, with deadlines for bids in September. No price has been listed for the property, which could fetch some $1 million per acre, according to some media reports.
While Mike Rabalais, of the Mayson family office, said that a number of corporate entities have shown interest in the property, he wouldn’t elaborate further until a more formal announcement could be made.
“Sometime people don’t realize the treasures in their community,” Brigance said. “I’d certainly hate for this to be a ‘don’t know what we have until it’s gone’ situation. Here’s our opportunity to do something about it today. It could be a symbol of renewal.”