Atlanta’s History at the Swan House

Published: 05/19/16 9:50 PM in Local, North America, Travel.
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After spending the first day of my mom’s visit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, we decided to capitalize on the mild winter weather and spend another day outside exploring a new destination inside the perimeter. So we decided to take a peek into the history of the city and visit the Swan House, located within the grounds of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

The primary reason for our visit was to tour the Swan House, however upon arrival, we realized that the entire facility has a lot more to offer than we first thought. The Atlanta History Center is history museum with six permanent exhibits showcasing everything from the American Civil War to the Centennial Olympic Games. In fact, the center holds one of the largest collections of Civil War artifacts in the United States. Alongside these permanent exhibits, there is also space for several temporary exhibits that rotate out through the years.

During our visit in January 2016, they had a temporary exhibit called “Atlanta in 50 Objects” showcasing fifty items suggested by the public that tell the story of Atlanta. The items selected to exemplify Atlanta included a first edition copy of Gone with the Wind, a to-scale replica of the airport’s “plane-train” (announcements included!), and the Chick-fil-A Cows. Other than touring the Swan House itself, this exhibit was definitely a favorite of the day.

The Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia is a historic house within Buckhead used as a filming location for The Hunger Games.

Charlene Kirsten sits in front of the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia.

A wall of ivy in an alcove in front of The Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia.

Meredith Lambert Banogon and Kevin Banogon pose in front of an ivy wall at the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kevin Banogon sits inside a vintage car outside the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia.


The History of the Swan House

The Swan House is located in the heart of Buckhead and is a piece of history that gives us a peak into what life was like in the 1920s for the wealthiest family in Atlanta. The house was built for the Inman family, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune, and was completed for the family in 1928. The family lived in the house until 1965 with the Atlanta Historical Society acquiring it a year later and preserving it ever since. Many of the furnishings are the originals used by the Inman family themselves.

The house was built by, Atlanta architect, Philip Trammell Schutze and is considered his finest residential work. The name ‘Swan House’ comes from the swan and bird motifs that can be found throughout the interior and exterior of the home. Mrs. Inman’s affinity for birds is still discussed at length by the tour guides in each room.

In recent years, the house has been used for many public and private events and has been even been used multiple times as a filming location for both movies and TV. Most famously, the terraced backyard and facade were used as President Snow’s home in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2.


The details of the ceiling at the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia are beautifully preserved.

Kevin Banogon and Meredith Lambert Banogon do a prom pose in front of the grand staircase in the Swan House at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

The grad staircase at the Swan House in Atlant, Georgia greets you as soon as you walk through the front doors.

The library and study inside the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia is filled with dark wood and furniture.

An elegant dining room within the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia with hand painted wall paper.

A close-up shot of the hand painted wall paper in the dining room of the Swan House features birds and flowers.

Kevin Banogon peers out of the top window of the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kevin Banogon stands on the back balcony of The Swan House where President Snow made speeches in The Hunger Games.

The wooded path through the grounds of the Atlanta History Center on the way to the Swan House.

Kevin Banogon sits in front of the Wood Family Cabin on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.


Exploring the Grounds of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead

The Atlanta History Center encompasses of a total of 33 acres in the heart of Buckhead and within those grounds are the museum itself, the Swan House, the gardens of the Swan House, and two other historic structures. One of those structures is the Wood Family Cabin which was once the home of Elias and Jane Wood, ancestors of the Hartrampf family. The structure dates back to Atlanta’s earliest days when north Georgia was the frontier.

Throughout the grounds of the museum, there are short wooded trails leading to each historic structure. Visitors can take their time strolling through the grounds getting a taste of the Georgia outdoors within a heavily trafficked part of the city. The gardens of the Swan House seamlessly merge with the untamed trails so that you can suddenly find yourself in a more symmetrical formal garden with an elephant statue. So naturally, you must pose with it.

Overall this day trip in Atlanta was a great little, hidden gem that we are happy we did not miss out on.


The Wood Family Cabin on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

Kevin Banogon points ahead as he sits on top of an elephant statue at the Atlanta History Center.

Meredith Lambert Banogon and Charlene Kirsten pose with an elephant statue at the Atlanta History Center.

The back balcony of the Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia was used as a filming location in The Hunger Games film franchise as President Snow's house.

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