Emory Cottage is Bob Brown's home in the Emory Village community of Atlanta. It might seem strange for a house to have a name, but it's no stranger than a house having a Web site, at least when it's not for sale. The name Emory Cottage came from the designer who drew up the final plans. The designer and contractor just wanted a shorthand way to refer to the project, but I've spent part of every summer for more than 40 years in a place where houses had names instead of house numbers. So, a name for a house was very natural to me. The designer suggested "Brown Manor" but that did not seem right. Truly, there are manors in Druid Hills, but my house is not one of them. I had "cottage" in mind from reading Calvert Vaux, So, we settled on Emory Cottage.
Sadly, while the houses on Pawley's Island still have names, the new-fangled innovation of street numbers was introduced about the turn of the 21st Century.
Emory Cottage has replaced a 1929 white painted brick bungalow with terra cotta tile roof at the front. The façade of the new house was designed look as much like the previous structure as possible, consistent with current building codes and adding decorative elements appropriate to the style, the neighborhood, and the Historic District. I wanted white painted brick and terra cotta fiber-cement roof tiles on the new house, effectively duplicating the look of the original, but the Historic Preservation Commission would not approve either.
The building of the new Emory Cottage was a long time coming, and so I had plenty of time to read, think, and plan. While I was reading architecture books, I came across a statement of exactly what I wanted in Villas and Cottages by Calvert Vaux:
"...arranged for the use of a man with simple habits, with some refinement of taste. Such a man would be a lover of hospitality, fond of fresh air, free space, and an easy life, and willing to take advantage of all reasonable modern improvements in the art of living comfortably, but from choice as much as necessity being economical in his requirements, he would have as strong an aversion for empty display as for scanty baldness in arrangement or detail."
This seemed to me to be as desirable in 2007, when I set to work to re-plan Emory Cottage, as it was when it was written in 1857.
Emory Cottage really is a cottage: two bedrooms, living room, dining room, and kitchen in about 1,800 square feet, but it's a nice cottage, built with the advice of Calvert Vaux in mind. For those who may be interested, the plans are on line as PDF files.
Rooms in the common areas are connected by Tudor arches, as wide as possible considering placement of furniture and appliances. This gives the effect of one large room, bright and airy. The former dark central hallway has been replaced by a gallery with north-facing clerestory windows, a 17 foot ceiling, and marble tile floor. Other architectural features are a window seat and gilded dome with chandelier in the dining room and built-in bookcases on the south wall of the living room. The window seat has turned out to be a magnet for children. Against all odds, I've grown to like children.
I got extremely lucky when I chose TerraCraft Homes as my general contractor. You can see a slideshow of construction pictures. It takes about ten minutes to run. There's a smaller set of pictures on Facebook.
One of my pleasures in life has always been cooking for my friends. That's why Emory Cottage has such a spacious kitchen... lots of room for many cooks! I've collected some favorite recipes over the years, and even adapted a few by adding my own touches. I'm going to try to put the best ones on line, although there are only about a dozen items in the collection of Recipes from Emory Cottage at the moment. Good food deserves good wine, and I'll be posting some notes from the wine cellar at Emory Cottage for everyone to enjoy.
The thing about college teachers is that we write. My tombstone will probably say, "Published, but perished anyway." So, there is an Emory Cottage blog. Do I have anything interesting to say? Probably not, but you can check for yourself! I also write a little about techno-stuff, and that's at the Bitmonger blog. (So that techies don't have to read about baking and bakers don't have to read about my trials and tribulations with technology, that's why!)
Orignially posted: 2008-04-10