The owner of a mansion at 205 West Paces Ferry Road is restoring the historic house, but must receive permission from the city of Atlanta before he can rebuild the original wall and gate topped with a pair of rooster statues.

Dr. Robin Fowler holding one of the rooster statues he rescued, and which may have once stood on a lost front gate at the Thornton House. (Photo John Ruch)

Robin Fowler, the owner of the mansion designed by Philip Trammell Shutze, an Atlanta architect best known for the Atlanta History Center’s Swan House, discovered the two rooster statues half-buried behind his house.

Determined to save the statues and restore other historic features, such as a cobblestone starburst design in the driveway, Fowler found the original blueprints for the property and learned the rooster statues sat atop a gate at the entrance to the house, known as the Thornton House.

To build the wall and gate according to the original design and top it with the statues, Fowler must first receive a zoning adjustment from the city. The original blueprints call for the walls to be 11 feet, 6 inches tall, while zoning allows for 6 feet.

A detail of the original, hand-drawn sketch for the Thornton House’s entrance gate as found and copied by Dr. Robin Fowler in the Atlanta History Center files.

Fowler’s request was planned to be ruled on at the May 4 meeting of the Zoning Adjustment Board, but a wrong measurement caused his request to be deferred until June 1.

Both Department of City Planning staff and NPU-B have recommended approving the request, but one neighbor is against the plan, Fowler said.

Fowler has received letters of support from 12 of 13 of his South Tuxedo Park neighbors, but one is against the walls being built, showing up to the zoning adjustment board meeting to speak against the plan. The neighbor, whose house is across from Fowler’s and down a hill, fears the wall would block sunlight from her property, Fowler said.

However, the staff report from the planning department said the walls won’t “unduly prevent passage of light and air to adjoining properties.”

One reply on “Buckhead mansion owner seeks to restore historic rooster-topped wall”

  1. Full support this historic preservation! Our city is enriched by this project !! Thank you to NPU and the city of Atlanta !!!!!!

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