Back in the 1990s, LIFE magazine commissioned six well-known architects to design a series of “Dream Houses” for its readers, starting with Robert A.M. Stern. The mail-order house plans were a way to make beautiful design more accessible. This one was built in Georgia’s Legacy Park neighborhood outside Atlanta and was featured in the magazine. It’s on the market, so let’s take a look!
The House on the Cover of LIFE:
The House as It Appeared in the Magazine:
According to an article about the dream houses: “LIFE Magazine believed that too many people, as noted architect Robert A. M. Stern has said, ‘buy the house they hate the least.’ They thought there had been a dramatic break in the decades following WWII between great architecture and the typical American home.”
The House Today:
Interior photos taken when it was furnished:
The listing says:
LIFE magazine Dream Home designed by Robert Stern, open floor plan with fireside great room and dining area. Covered veranda, gourmet kitchen with custom cabinetry and charming window seating area. Exquisite details include coffered ceilings, heavy trim, crown molding, custom chandeliers, 2 bedroom suites upstairs, and high ceilings.
It’s on the market now, and the listing agent posted these old magazine photos. I discovered that it had been a rental listing for a while, and I found some photos from it, too.
The Current Listing Photos Show an Empty House:
The Former Rental Listing Said:
A Fabulous Craftsman Style Home in a Park Setting. A LIFE MAGAZINE Home of the Year designed by Robert Stern and built in Award Winning Legacy Park. A Touch of New England with Cedar Siding and Shingles, A Covered and Private Brick Patio, An Open Floor Plan, Wonderful Architectural Details and Bedrooms Designed as Suites. All on a Private and Natural Wooded Lot where you can see the deer pass through, but not your neighbors.
The house was designed to be affordable to build for around $250,000, but if you wanted all the upgrades and trim that make the rooms feel special, the costs quickly escalated.
They were charging $2,400/month to rent this house.
The woodwork, built-ins, and other details retain their charm after all these years.
The house has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 4,130 square feet.
This is why you don’t want to build your media center around your TV… 😉
I’m a little mystified by all the designated “office” spaces in the house. Do the rooms not have closets so they can’t be called bedrooms?
The Covered Veranda:
Photographed for the Magazine:
Does anyone else remember the LIFE Dream Houses? Did anyone actually purchase one of the plans? I’d love to see other examples of what people built with this one!
Photo credits: Peter Aaron/Esto, RAMSA, and Wayne Sorce.
For more photos and information:
- The Current Listing
- Robert A.M. Stern Architects
- Former Rental Listing
- Article about the LIFE Dream Houses
- Article about the Rise of Mail-Order Plans
- Article on Curbed
Want it? It’s on the market in Kennesaw, Georgia, for $594,720. I think this house has the potential to really shine again and would love to see what a creative homeowner could do with it! 🙂