Midtown’s oldest private home sells for record price


Located four blocks south of Piedmont Park for the past 130 years, William P. Nicolson’s historic home is considered Midtown’s oldest private home, with its impressive condition due to only three different families l have possessed.

The property at 821 Piedmont Avenue traded hands again last month and set the new price bar for Midtown homes in the process.

After extensive renovations that modernized the property while retaining its historic soul, the six-bedroom postbellum residence (with 5,200 square feet in the main house alone) sold on February 28 for a record $2.29 million, according to Bryan Peterson of Ansley Real Estate.

Interiors boast new lighting and Farrow and Ball paint throughout, as well as refurbished original heart pine floors. A security system with cameras and smart locks has also been added. Photography by Drone Media Solutions; courtesy of Ansley Real Estate

More than half a dozen Midtown condos have traded for higher prices in recent years — reaching $3.7 million for a sprawling One Museum Place unit — but this is the most expensive single-family home never sold in the neighborhood.

Records indicate it previously sold in 2016 for $1.38 million and, after renovations, hit the market for about 10 months from late 2020 to no avail. Another sign of Intown’s molten real estate market, he was under contract shortly after listing last month.

Designed by famed architect Walter Downing in the Colonial Revival style, the house was built circa 1891 as a wedding present for the wife (Carolyn Crane) of prominent Atlanta surgeon Dr. William Nicolson.

According to the National Park Service, the property is one of only five Downing-designed residences known to remain standing in Atlanta, owned by the Nicolson family until 1982.


The inimitable neo-colonial facade of 821 Piedmont Avenue NE.Photography by Drone Media Solutions; courtesy of Ansley Real Estate

Today it’s a mix of period details (see: curved, curved glass windows, an abundance of fireplaces and original pine floors) and modern conveniences (automated sprinklers, security system of high quality and a kitchen equipped with Viking appliances).

Added bonus: The property’s Walk Score of 91 qualifies as a “walker’s paradise” by today’s measurements.

Head to the gallery above for a quick tour of Midtown’s oldest and most expensive residence.

• Recent news from Midtown, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)

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