The tides appear to be turning for Peachtree Street’s most historic eyesore.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned Friday to mark the beginning of the Rufus M. Rose House’s restoration from a crumbling, fenced-off blemish on Atlanta’s marquee street to the Victorian landmark it once was, according to the real estate investment firm that recently purchased it.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977, the so-called “Rose on Peachtree” is an example of a late Victorian Queen Anne-style home—and the only Victorian left standing in Atlanta’s core district. Built in 1901, the property is considered by the Atlanta Preservation Center to be one of the metro’s oldest buildings.
Atlanta-based investment firm UC Asset purchased the 537 Peachtree Street property earlier this summer and now plans “to restore its historic legacy,” according to an announcement this week. Former Atlanta mayor and current mayoral candidate Kasim Reed is expected to lead a ribbon-cutting on the home’s steps at 10 a.m. Friday.
“Our long-term goal is for the Rufus House to become a symbol of hope and legacy for the city,” said Christal Jordan, UC Asset’s executive director, “celebrating its rich history while forging ahead to create a progressive new future.”
The new owners plan to restore and fully refurbish "Atlanta's oldest mansion" in a way that maintains historical integrity. Larry Wu, UC Asset’s founder, said his group has partnered with “a technology company” and will have “some exciting news to share in the upcoming weeks” regarding the Rufus M. Rose House’s future uses.
Ultimately, the 7,122-square-foot property will serve as an inclusive “resource for the Atlanta community,” Wu said in a prepared statement.
The most recent purchase price hasn’t been disclosed.
Inman Park Properties bought the mansion in mid-2019 for its full asking price of $1 million and later announced renovation plans that would have included a restaurant, but that work never materialized. Property records indicate the landmark has sold for as little as $309,000 in 2011.
A few years prior to Inman Park Properties’ involvement, plans emerged for converting the mansion into an arts space and entrepreneurial hub, but those ambitions also fizzled.
Built in 1901 for the founder of Four Roses Distillery, the five-bedroom, three-bathroom house was designed by Atlanta architect E.C. Seiz. It was designated as a Landmark Building by the City of Atlanta in 1989.
The APC's offices were the home’s last occupant, but the organization moved out 20 years ago. APC executive director David Mitchell has called UC Asset's restoration plans an example of the "continued renaissance of downtown Atlanta through visionary partnerships.”
Have a closer look at the historic property's "before" state—including floorplans—in the gallery above.
Lead photo courtesy of Historic Atlanta.
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