Where the past meets the present

New development builds off historic Roswell home



ROSWELL, Ga. — A new development on one of Roswell’s most historic properties recently broke ground. With the help of Hembree family descendants and the Roswell Historical Society, Peachland Homes is bringing six new houses on the original Hembree family homestead that will complement the adjacent Hembree Historic Preservation Site.

The house, which dates back to 1835, remained in the Hembree family’s possession for eight generations. In 2007, Carmen Ford, a Hembree descendant, donated the house to the Roswell Historical Society, along with a standalone kitchen and two log corn cribs.

Ty White and his company Peachland Homes has been coordinating with the Roswell Historical Society on the new development.

“We’ve been working very closely with them to make sure that what we’re doing will complement what they’re doing with the house,” White said. “Their goal is to make it more of an educational showpiece so people can come out and see how people lived in the 1840s.”

Each of the six houses will boast their own unique designs that will marry the charms of the 1830s aesthetic with the convenience of modern life.

The development will have a private road for the homes as well as a second road for direct access to the preservation site. Peachland Homes will also help provide running water and sewer to the Hembree Historic Preservation Site. White and his team have built more than 1,000 luxury homes throughout Atlanta.

“We wanted to piggyback off of the historic nature of the property,” White said. “It’s the oldest home in Roswell. We wanted to build on that and the overall character of Roswell.”

The homes are designed for a pastoral setting, with big lots and a farm feel. Even though each of the houses will have different plans, they will all feature a common historical farm style. Each lot is about three quarters of an acre, and the homes will take up about 4,000-5,000 square feet. The majority of the houses will be two stories.

“We’re blending old and new,” White said. “The old works with the pasture look. They will be spread out a bit more, which look more like what it used to look like when we had room. Often the homes now are very compact, because we just don’t have a lot of land to build on. And when it was time to add a working kitchen or a second bedroom, it was added on and the house would spread out. So architecturally, it will mimic those same things.”

To achieve that look, the outside will emphasize space and natural light, with large porches and multiple windows. Garages, as a more modern amenity, will have a deemphasized appearance.

“We want people to feel like they almost have to look twice,” White said. “That they’ll wonder, ‘was that one of the older homes that was updated?’”

On the inside, however, White said the houses will have all the modern conveniences and looks. They will feature open floorplans that focus on the kitchen and living rooms and gathering spaces, for example.

And some of the building materials, such as reclaimed wood, used throughout the houses will help tie together the two eras.

“The interior will be how we live today, but the exterior will be how we used to live,” White said. “What you feel on the outside will carry through to the inside, even though it’s going to have all the bells and whistles.”

Construction on the first two homes has already started, and the team plans to complete them in May 2018. The rest should be complete by the end of 2018, White said.

To see design plans, visit hembree1835.com.

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