Architects, as well as the casual visitor, are stunned by the "audacious bulk" of this magnificent house which somehow also manages to be a house of grace, beauty and distinction. They marvel that it sits so forthrightly and imperiously on the street, not realizing that in early days there was no Liberty Street and the house had a wide lane in front leading to Main Street (then the Augusta Road and now Robert Toombs Avenue). Architects and visitors also marvel that two houses could so successfully be put side by side to form one great town house. The two striking red front doors with their arched settings, the fanlights and the broad, dentiled entablature catch the eye. The two federal houses were joined with a wide hall and unified by the addition of the Doric peristyle colonnade and the wrap around piazza.
This magnificent Federal architecture-style home was built in 1787 and underwent a Greek Revival architecture-style makeover in 1841 which included the addition of the columns by Aaron A. Cleveland , that gracefully wrap around the home. The stately home is encircled by a balustrade Doric portico and balcony . The original cottage was built by William Stith , one of the first judges in Georgia. When the Honorable Duncan Campbell came to Washington in 1807 to teach in the Young Ladies' Academy he bought the existing cottage and began its enlargement. It was here, in the eastern section of the home, that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Archibald Campbell was born in 1811. Andrew Green Semmes, of the distinguished Baltimore family, bought the house in 1817 and it was most likely his son, Judge Albert Gallatin Semmes, who saw to the design of the western part of the edifice. The home was the residence of U.S. Supreme Court Justice and C.S.A. Assistant Secretary of War John Archibald Campbell.
The interior of the home shares the same stunning beauty, grace and distinction as the exterior with all the qualities that evoke an ambiance of the genteel south and a by-gone era. Richly carved mantels, plastered walls, shimmering chandeliers, towering ceilings, glistening wood floors, graceful archways and an elegantly rising staircase are but a few of the incredible features of the interior. The lower level of the home is not only stunning, but warm and cozy with a combination of exposed wood beams, rock and brick floors. There one finds a most inviting and wonderfully designed kitchen and den combination with fireplaces, the kitchen fireplace adorned with the sparkle of copper cookware.
There is also a separate housekeeper/caretakers apartment on the lower level with separate outside entry. The main level of the home boast a wide center hall flanked on each side by formal parlors, library, formal dining and a bright sunlit serving, sitting area that spans the entire width of the home on both the second and third level. (It is a most welcoming entry foyer on the lower level with white washed massive exposed beams). The expansive bank of windows and doors that can be opened to warm Georgia breezes and the smells of magnolias, tea olives and camellias offer a pleasing interchange between indoors and outdoors as one overlooks beautifully landscaped grounds with walkways, ornate statues and gurgling fountains.
The top level of the home also has two spacious master bedroom suites with elegant spacious baths (one with fireplace!) Both Master suites open to the amazing third level sun room sitting areas. There is also a wonderful third bedroom and bath on that level. An early intriguing staircase leads to the attic! An elevator services all levels of the home. The home is approximately 6,800 square feet and is situated in a very private setting on a 1.06 lushly landscaped lot.
There is a lovely carriage house (barn) and other dependencies on the property. It is within walking distance of the Historic Town Square, shops, restaurants, museums and the oldest public library in Georgia. Elegance and comfort dwell harmoniously here... Striking architectural features in a truly hard to find Historic Treasure.
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