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Swan House
Swann House.jpg
Front of Swan House and Yard
Swan House (Atlanta) is located in Atlanta
Swan House (Atlanta)
Location in Atlanta
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Built 1928
Architect Schutze, Philip T.
Architectural style Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals
NRHP reference No. 77000434
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 13, 1977

Swan House is located on the grounds of Atlanta History Center’s main campus and was built in 1928 for Edward and Emily Inman in Atlanta, Georgia. In recent years, the house is celebrated as a set in the Hunger Games movies.

Architecture and gardens

Designed by architect Philip T. Shutze, the Swan House design combined Renaissance revival styles with a Classical approach on the main facade. The rear facade is less formal, and is sited at the top of a small hill with terraced gardens and a fountain cascading down the hillside. A recurring motif are sculpted or painted swans throughout the house and grounds.

Classical architectural details, such as the columns and broken pediments, elements borrowed from the exteriors of classical buildings, are prevalent throughout the interior. The interior architectural detailing, however, was designed to complement the varied furnishings and objects in the Inman’s' collections. Interior treatments of Swan House are eclectic. While each room conveys the aura of a distinct eighteenth-century style, in each there is a free adaptation of the style in the architectural detail, and the imposition of twentieth-century taste in the furnishings.

Shutze described the Swan House gardens design saying, “…the landscape was done with the Italian garden in England in mind.” He took the best of baroque Italy and merged it with English style into a modern home of the early twentieth century. From the grand, sweeping lawn to the private boxwood garden, Shutze’s plan takes you from drama to intimacy.


Edward Inman received his early education in Atlanta and New Jersey, and later attended Princeton University for a year in 1900, but did not graduate. Edward began working at a family business, Inman, Smith, & Company and later worked at his uncle’s cotton brokerage business. In 1921, Edward Inman withdrew from the firm of Inman & Howard to devote himself to other business enterprises and local politics. Emily Caroline MacDougald was born in Alabama, and grew up on a family plantation in Columbus, Georgia. She met Edward through her older sister, Anne, and they married in June 1901.

After their house in Ansley Park burned in 1924, the Inmans commissioned the Atlanta architectural firm of Hentz, Reid and Adler to design a new house in on 28 acres in Buckhead, a northern Atlanta community. The Inman's selected Hentz, Reid, & Adler, an architectural firm that had established a reputation in Atlanta for excellence. At the time, Neel Reid  was the firm's principal designer as well as a personal friend of the Inman’s. Lesser known at the time was Philip Trammel Shutze, an occasional draftsman and designer in the firm and an eventual partner with Hentz and Adler after Reid's death. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Columbia School of Architecture, and the American Academy in Rome, Italy. The designs for Swan House have been attributed to Reid and Shutze in recent scholarship.  

Edward Inman died in 1931, but Emily collected her family into the house and lived there until her death in 1965. The house and grounds were acquired by the Atlanta Historical Society in 1966. The house is operated as part of Atlanta History Center and is maintained as a 1920s and 1930s historic house museum, with many of the Inmans' original furnishings.

In 2004, Atlanta History Center completed a $5.4 million restoration of the house and its furnishings.

Swan House’s legacy in the suffrage movement

Emily C. MacDougald founded the Equal Suffrage Party (ESP) of Georgia in her Atlanta home. As president of Georgia’s ESP, she coordinated the production of leaflets and organized suffrage parades. In addition to advocating for the right to vote in national elections, MacDougald and ESP fought for the right to vote in state and local elections. MacDougald’s daughter, Emily Inman of Swan House, was also heavily involved in the women’s suffrage movement. She participated in the activities of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia and entered her car into Atlanta’s first Suffrage Parade in 1913.

Another connection the Swan House has to the suffrage movement is through Inmans’ maid, Elizabeth McDuffie. McDuffie worked for the Inmans until 1933 when she and her husband relocated to Washington, D.C. There, she served as a maid in the White House during the Roosevelt administration. FDR considered McDuffie to be a trusted advisor and sent her to campaign for him across the Midwest and New England in 1936 and 1940. Though she never argued outright for women’s suffrage, she campaigned for equality nationwide. Referring to her work as “a small crusade,” Elizabeth McDuffie played a key role in the fight for equity amongst people of color.

In 1919, the executive committee of the Georgia Democratic Party adopted a resolution allowing women to vote in the Democratic white primary. Written by Emily MacDougald, the resolution passed 24-1. It allowed for a handful of white Atlanta women to vote in their first local election.


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