The Margaret Mitchell House is a historic house museum located in Atlanta, Georgia. The structure was the home of author Margaret Mitchell. Located in Midtown, at 990 Peachtree Street, the house was known as the Crescent Apartments when Mitchell and her husband lived in Apt. 1 on the ground floor from 1925 to 1932. While living there, Mitchell wrote the bulk of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gone with the Wind. The house also contains a Visitor Center, and a portion of the museum is wholly devoted to the filming of the 1939 film based on the book.
The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also designated as a historic building by the City of Atlanta.
House HistoryThe house was built as a single-family residence in 1899. Commercial development quickly overtook the neighborhood, however, 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 on 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, and "three brick stores" were built where the house had originally sat. Located in what was then Atlanta's largest business district outside of downtown, close to trolley lines, and walking distance from her parents' house, the Crescent Apartments was home to Margaret Mitchell and John Marsh when they married in July 1925. Unfortunately, the building's owner became over-extended, and it 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 their apartment as "the Dump." By the fall of 1931, there were only two occupied apartments in the building, one of which belonged to the Marshes, but they, too, moved to a larger apartment a few blocks away in the spring of 1932.
With a new owner, the Crescent Apartments were revived and continued to attract tenants until shortly after World War II. By then, the building was in poor condition, and in 1946 the porches were removed from the Crescent Avenue side of the building. (The original front porches were lost when the building was moved in 1913). By the 1950s, the building was mostly vacant and overdue for rehabilitation. There were a few commercial tenants, and the old apartments were popular with Georgia Tech students. In 1964, the opening nearby of Ansley Mall signaled the death knell for the old commercial district on Peachtree Street between 8th and 14th, but at the same time the Crescent Apartments got a much-needed rehab and were reborn as the Windsor House Apartments. In 1977, the last tenants were evicted and the building boarded up by a new owner who intended a major redevelopment of the area. By the time he and his company went bankrupt in the late 1980's, their only accomplishment was construction of a new office building at Tenth and W. Peachtree and the razing of dozens of historic buildings in the area. The old Crescent Apartments continued to deteriorate, especially after a fire was set in the southwest corner of the building did minor damage in the late 1980's. However, another fire, presumed to be arson, destroyed much of the building in September 1994.