Monday, January 24, 2011

House of the Week

Hentz, Reid and Adler's Vaughn Nixon house

This has been my very favorite Atlanta house for my entire life. I remember driving by it as a child and thinking this was the perfect house. It sits on Andrews Drive next to the Swan House (Inman house) and is situated in an idyllic setting.

The house was built in 1925-6 for Vaughn Nixon and is one of Neel Reid's last designs - he was dying of brain cancer as the house was completed. It was Neel Reid's homage to the Hammond-Harwood house in Annapolis, Maryland. The Hammond-Harwood house is one of the primary landmarks of colonial American Georgian architecture. The Vaughn Nixon house is not a copy, but was inspired by the Hammond-Harwood house, which was in turn inspired by the Villa Pisani pictured below.

Hammond-Harwood house

Villa Pisani

Of particular inspiration for Reid was the facade and front door, pictured below:

(Please ignore the Halloween decorations on the railing - now you know when I took the photo :))

Here is another Reid facade (Logan Clarke house in Brookwood Hills, 1922) that resembles Hammond-Harwood:

I am thankful to my architect, Brad Heppner, for my Federal style front door - which is not dissimilar to the Georgian doorways above. My entrance has an open pediment, which is common in the Federal or Adams style.

Perhaps Brad was inspired by a federal door like this one:

or this one:

You can click on any of the images to enlarge them.


  1. The Vaughn Nixon house is truly exceptional and I can see why it is your favorite. Also it is a wonderful example of how a historic house can be the inspiration or model for a new one, in general scale, proportion of window openings to wall surface, roof pitch, etc.

  2. It's beautiful. It doesn't really look big or small, just great shapes.

  3. The Vaughn Nixon House definitely appears to be a copy of the street facade of the main block of the Hammond-Harwood House. I would love to see it without the white paint. Unfortunately that makes the decorative details dissolve into a massive field of white. It is however a stunning house. It was most likely modeled from a drawing in the White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs, circa 1920. Neel Reid, as an architect, would have received these in the mail as a advertisement for the use of white pine as a building material.Does anyone know whether Mr. Reid ever visited Annapolis?
    Carter Lively, Executive Director, Hammond-Harwood HOuse Association

  4. Carter Cunningham Lively, Executive Director, Hammond-Harwood HouseMay 16, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Would it be possible to know who owns the Vaugh Nixon House. We would like to contact them.