Harrison Jones House — Whispering Pines

660 West Paces Ferry Road NW

1928: Pringle & Smith

When the Pringle & Smith-designed Harrison Jones House—dubbed Whispering Pines—was profiled by House and Garden in 1929, it had been occupied for several years by the Jones family. Comparing Whispering Pines to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the article noted:

Across much of the architecture of our southern states the shadow of Mount Vernon spreads, with the tranquility of shadows lengthening on a lawn at dusk. This alcoved porch with high supporting columns and balustraded parapet gives to the residence of Harrison Jones, of Atlanta, Ga., its historic charm and authenticity. The middle member of the Harrison Jones house follows the traditional style, even to the details of dormers behind the parapet, large windows and the rear hall door with its decorative fanlight. In the wings, long windows are banked together in the English fashion. On the first floor these ranges of windows light a sun room and brakfast [sic] room respectively and on the second floor, sleeping porches. A wide hall running from front door to rear portico lends a generous aspect to the first floor. Off this is a large living room with its attendant sun room and library and on the other side the dining room and service, with a breakfast room facing the garden. The open stairway and the broad landing compensate for the narrowness of the long corridor upstairs. Pringle & Smith were the architects.

Whispering Pines from Realtor.com.

Born at Marion, Virginia in May 1887, Harrison Jones came to Atlanta in September 1898 as an 11-year-old boy with his parents, Samuel Dews and Elizabeth (Harrison) Jones. His father was a prominent Atlanta businessman, serving as president of both the Atlanta Stove Works (whose historic building is currently (January 2022) being redeveloped by Asana Partners) and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. His mother was an active philanthropist and served as president of the War Mothers’ Star Service Legion in 1920 when that organization dedicated the War Memorial at Pershing Point.

Harrison spent his childhood in Inman Park before attending the University of Georgia where he later claimed to serve an important role in bringing basketball to that institution:

The college game in Georgia originated in 1906, according to the late Mr. Harrison Jones . . . . In 1905 no college in Georgia or the South as a matter of fact, had a basketball team. Mr. Jones at that time was manager of the track team at the University. In order to raise money for his team he arranged some exhibition games of basketball between teams representing the Athens “Y”. . . . Mr. Jones recalled that in 1906 the University of Georgia adopted basketball as a part of its sports program and the game was launched as a collegiate sport.

“Harrison Jones.” Pandora 20 (1907).

He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1907 as president of his senior class and from the law department at the University of Michigan in 1910. Jones returned to Atlanta to practice law, teach at Emory University’s newly established law school, and organize a company of the Georgia National Guard he called, “The Fulton Blues.” Before he married Kathryn Gordon in October 1913, the Sunday American noted that “[t]he engagement of this popular young couple has been an open secret for some time, their friendship having extended over a period of seven years, since Harrison Jones was one of the most popular students at the University of Georgia, and his charming bride-to-be at Lucy Cobb.”

Jones was living with his wife and young son at his father-in-law’s house on East Fourteenth Street when the 1920 U.S. federal census was taken. He joined the Coca-Cola Company soon after purchased his Paces Ferry lot in 1922. He hired Pringle & Smith to design Whispering Pines, which the Jones family debuted to Atlanta society in November 1928. The house evidently served as a social hotspot: In November 1931, “[a] trio of debutantes dubbed the intriguing den at Whispering Pines . . . ‘an ideal place in which to court.'”

Both the 1930 and 1940 U.S. federal censuses located the Jones family at Whispering Pines. In May 1942 Ralph McGill called Jones “[o]ne of Atlanta’s best-known and most valuable citizens” when Jones was named chairman of the board of Coca-Cola. He served in that position until his retirement in June 1952 when Robert W. Woodruff noted that “[t]here is a certain evangelical quality in Harrison Jones which has been a determining factor in making Coca-Cola a religion as well as a business.” When Jones died at Piedmont Hospital in 1967, the Constitution wrote: “An energetic man, once described as a ‘steam engine in pants,’ . . . . [he was] [a]n accomplished gardener, [and] created one of the finest flower gardens in the South at his home, 660 West Paces Ferry Road NW.” His wife, Kathryn (Gordon) Jones, died in 1970. Both are buried in Westview Cemetery.

Whispering Pines last sold in December 2021.

Select Bibliography

Atlanta Constitution. “Paces Ferry Tract Is Sold by McGhee to Boykin and Jones.” November 26, 1922.

———. “As Four Women Hear It.” November 11, 1928.

———. “As Four Women Hear It.” February 3, 1929.

———. “Whispering Pines Den Inspires Romance.” November 15, 1931.

———. “Harrison Jones Is a Success Story.” June 2, 1952.

———. “Coca-Cola Executive Harrison Jones Dies.” June 19, 1967.

Atlanta Georgian & News. “Harrison Jones Organizing New Company for Fifth.” November 3, 1911.

Blair, Ruth. Georgia Women of 1926. Georgia Department of Archives and History, 1926.

Craig, Robert Michael. The Architecture of Francis Palmer Smith, Atlanta’s Scholar Architect. Athens, GA: Univ. of Georgia Press, 2012.

Foreman, Howell. “Society and War Mix Not; Fulton Blues Know By Now.” Atlanta Constitution, May 12, 1912.

Hearst’s Sunday American (Atlanta, GA). “In the World of Society.” September 7, 1913.

Knight, Lucian Lamar. A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians. Vol. 4. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1917.

McGill, Ralph. “Coca-Cola Company Gives Promotion To Harrison Jones.” Atlanta Constitution, May 5, 1942.

Moore, Virlyn B. Jr. “From Alfred Scott to Roger Kaiser.” Atlanta Historical Bulletin 12, no. 4 (1967): 22–37.

Students of the University of Georgia. Pandora 20 (1907).

Thomas, Bernice L. “Advertising Bottled Coca-Cola Through Architecture.” Atlanta History 44 no. 2 (2000): 21–30.

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