1908: Architect Unknown
A real estate advertisement in the April 16, 1911 Constitution listed “O. Neubauer” among the “names of 300 of Atlanta’s best citizens” with property in Ansley Park, urging the reader to “Add Your Name to the List While You Can.” (A contemporaneous plat map shows the Neubauer house already constructed on Barksdale Drive in Block 17).
“O. Neubauer” was Adolf (sometimes Adolph) Neubauer, a native of Munich who immigrated to Chicago in 1892. After his 1903 marriage to Amanda Woerner, he associated with Walter E. Browne to found the W. E. Browne Decorating Company, which was called “the oldest interior design company in the South” when it closed in 1993. The Neubauers moved to Atlanta in 1907 and Adolf shortly after bought the Ansley Park property at 1 Barksdale Drive. The house was built in 1908.
Amanda was active in the Atlanta Woman’s Club and several local German societies. Adolf, called a noted painter who “specializ[ed] in mural paintings and portrait copying,” rose to the rank of vice president of the W.E. Brown Decorating Co. The 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal censuses all enumerated Adolf and Amanda at Barksdale Drive. Adolf died in 1939, and Amanda continued to live at the house until her 1953 death. Both are buried in Forest Park, Illinois.
Leon and Madelyne Eplan owned the Adolf Neubauer House in June 2009 when the AJC reported on its centennial:
Old wasn’t always so fashionable in Atlanta. You can count on one hand the number of pre-1900 houses thought to still exist within the city limits. Some of that can be attributed to the fire-starting tendencies of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman; more recently, though, Atlanta developed a reputation of its own for knocking down buildings whenever they were approaching mid-life crisis age or simply weren’t considered snazzy enough to host Olympic events.
The Eplans had trouble getting a mortgage to buy their $26,500 house, which a transplanted Swiss [sic] businessman with worldly tastes had built in 1908. It had a “French Parlor” and “Italian Living Room,” but lenders just saw a middle-aged house.
“In those days, the thinking was if something got old, it wore out and was torn down,” said Eplan, who was director of planning and development for the city of Atlanta under Mayor Maynard Jackson. “There was no way of evaluating if something had value if it got old.”
The Adolf Neubauer House last sold in 2012 for $778,000.
Atlanta Constitution. “Auction Sale: Ansley Park.” April 16, 1911.
———. “Adolph Neubauer, Artist, Dies Here.” July 1, 1939.
———. “Mrs. A. Neubauer.” October 31, 1953.
———. “Design Firm Closing.” October 22, 1993.
“Who’s Who in the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.” Atlanta City Builder (October 1931): 14.
Vejnoska, Jill. “2 Homes Reach Century Mark.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution. June 21, 2009.