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Margaret Mitchell - Apartment House in Atlanta

Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind while living at Crescent Apartments in Atlanta. She called apartment 1, which she shared with her husband John Marsh, "The Dump."

By the time the Marshes lived in Apartment 1, the place had earned that nickname. It did not start out that way, however.

The Atlanta History Center tells us more about the home which was once a very fashionable place:

The home where Margaret Mitchell penned the epic novel Gone With the Wind has a rich and storied past...the house was originally built as a single-family residence in 1899 in one of Atlanta’s most fashionable neighborhoods. However, commercial development quickly overtook the neighborhood and in 1907 the original family moved to Druid Hills.

The house changed hands several times until the winter of 1913-1914 when the house was moved onto a new basement story constructed at the rear of the lot. Given a Crescent Avenue address, the building was remodeled in 1919 and converted into a ten-unit apartment building known as the Crescent Apartments.

Unfortunately, the owner became over-extended, and the building was sold at auction in 1926. The next owner, too, was driven to bankruptcy when the stock market crashed in 1929. Maintenance declined, contributing to Mitchell’s characterization of her apartment as “the Dump.”

By the fall of 1931, there were only two occupied apartments in the building, one of which belonged to Mitchell, but she, too, moved to a larger apartment a few blocks away in the spring of 1932.

It wasn't just the early building owners who sought bankruptcy protection. In 1977, when the last tenants were evicted, the building was boarded-up. Its new owners intended to redevelop not just the house but the whole area. Unfortunately, their plans went awry, too, and that owner also went bankrupt in the late 1980s.

As the derelict building continued to deteriorate, it became a target for arsonists. In the 1990s, Daimler-Benz agreed to provide financial support to restore the place, but arsonists struck again in May of 1996.

Throughout the disasters which impacted the building, however, Mitchell's "Apartment 1" remained relatively unscathed. Its minor damage was repaired when the house was rebuilt—once again, with the financial help of Daimler-Benz—and opened to the public in 1997.

Owned, today, by the Atlanta History Center, Margaret Mitchell's house is included in America's National Register of Historic Places.

The photo, taken after Mitchell no-longer lived at the Crescent Apartments, is online via the Atlanta History Center. Click on the image for a better view.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 13, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Jun 17, 2016


Media Credits

Image of the Crescent Apartments, where Margaret Mitchell wrote "Gone with the Wind," in Atlanta, Georgia. Image, by an unnamed photographer, is online via the Atlanta History Center.

 

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"Margaret Mitchell - Apartment House in Atlanta" AwesomeStories.com. May 13, 2016. Oct 19, 2017.
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