While planning your next trip to Atlanta, don't miss the Margaret Mitchell House at Atlanta History Center Midtown, where local author Margaret Mitchell penned much of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Gone With the Wind." While in a different physical location than the main Atlanta History Museum campus in Buckhead, the historic site is open to the public for tours of the author's former apartment and permanent exhibitions dedicated to her life and work as well as author talks, photography exhibits, free concerts, lawn parties, and other special events for the community.
From the museum's history to what to see, how to visit, and what to do nearby, here's a complete guide to the Margaret Mitchell House at Atlanta History Center Midtown.
Built in 1899 by local architect Cornelius J. Sheehan, the Tudor-style home is one of the oldest surviving structures on Peachtree Street. While Midtown is now a thriving commercial district, it was once a quiet, affluent residential neighborhood lined with stately homes. Mitchell actually grew up at a home on 1149 Peachtree Street, located just a few blocks north of the museum.
The Margaret Mitchell House was originally a single-family home facing Peachtree Street, but in 1913, the home's owner moved the house to the back side of the property, changing its address to Crescent Avenue. The home was subdivided into a 10-unit apartment building in 1919.
Mitchell and her second husband John Marsh moved into the two-bedroom "Apartment 1" on the ground floor of the Crescent Apartments the day of their marriage, July 4, 1925. The couple remained in the residence, which Mitchell affectionately dubbed "The Dump" due to its cramped quarters and shabby state, until 1932. She wrote much of her famed novel, published in 1936, in the apartment.
The building continued to be an apartment building until the late 1970s and was abandoned and quickly deteriorating between 1979 and 1994. Local preservationists rallied to save the building, which was designated as a city landmark by then-Mayor Andrew Young in 1989. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 and under restoration when it was the victim of arson twice, the latter fire destroying all but Apartment 1.
Eventually, the building was fully restored and opened to the public as the Margaret Mitchell House Museum in 1997.
What to See
The home, once independently operated and absorbed into the Atlanta History Center in 2007, is now a visitor center and museum and open to the public for guided tours. Walk through the author's apartment, which includes period furniture and the leaded glass window she looked out while typing her manuscript. While her original typewriter (a 1923 Remington portable typewriter), is on display at the Atlanta Public Library, a replication of it remains in the apartment, which also includes artifacts from her life. The museum also hosts author talks, photography exhibits, free concerts, lawn parities, and other special events for the community.
How to Visit
The museum is located at 979 Crescent Avenue NE in Midtown, near the intersection of 10th and Peachtree Streets. There is limited free parking in designated spots at the museum, as well as paid street parking on nearby streets and a paid parking garage at Juniper Street.
If using MARTA, the city's public transportation network, get off at the Midtown station. Exit toward Peachier Place NE and walk east to Cypress Street. Turn left at Crescent Avenue, and the Margaret Mitchell House entrance will be on the right. For more about MARTA fares and schedules, see our guide to Atlanta public transportation.
The museum offers guided tours of Mitchell's apartment daily. Monday through Saturday, tours start at 10:30 a.m. and continue every half hour until 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, tours start at 12:30 p.m. and continue every half hour until 4:30 p.m. Tickets much be purchased in person, though groups of ten or more can arrange tours by calling (404) 814-4031 or emailing email@example.com.
What to Do Nearby
Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood offers plenty of activities for visitors beyond just the museum. Make time to visit Piedmont Park which, at 200 acres, is Atlanta's version of Central Park and the city's largest biggest green space. Adjacent to the property is the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which includes 30 acres of outdoor gardens, the largest collection of species of orchids in the United States, an award-winning children's garden, and a one-of-a-kind Canopy Walk through Storza Woods and permanent art installations.
Then head a few blocks north to the Woodruff Arts Center, which houses the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Alliance Theatre. The Center for Puppetry Arts, which includes a museum, children's programming, and shows dedicated to puppetry theater, is a short walk away and a great family-friendly excursion.
If craving a snack or a sit-down meal, there are several restaurants and coffee shops within walking distance. Try Empire State South for modern Southern fare, Cafe Intermezzo for a European sidewalk cafe experience in the heart of Atlanta, or Cafe Agora for Mediterranean staples like gyros.
Or take MARTA to the North Avenue Station to the world's largest drive-in, the Varsity, and order a world-famous chili dog with the popular Frosted Varsity Orange shake. Then walk over to the historic Fox Theatre, which offers guided tours of its ornate, Middle Eastern-inspired interiors as well as touring Broadway shows, live music and comedy events, and movies.