Historic Home of Georgia Suffragette and Emory’s First Female Student Now for Sale in Druid Hills Neighborhood

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, May 4th, 2020

It’s not every day a storied Atlanta home comes on the market, but just such a home is now available in Druid Hills.  870 Lullwater Road was built in 1914 for railroad magnate William Greene Raoul and his family.  It was one of the first homes to be built in what was then the new neighborhood of Druid Hills, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.  Sadly, Raoul would pass away before the home’s completion, but his wife, Mary Millen Wadley Raoul, and family, including daughter Eléonore Raoul, moved in upon the home’s completion.

Mary Raoul was active in many community organizations, and founded The Every Saturday Club, which developed free kindergartens in her new home city of Atlanta.  Daughter Eléonore Raoul followed her mother’s lead, becoming involved in numerous causes.  She served as president of the Atlanta Chapter of the Georgia Woman Equal Suffrage League and Chair of the Fulton and DeKalb County branches of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia.  Among her many accomplishments, however, Eléonore is perhaps best known locally as the first woman to be formally enrolled at Emory University.

As the story goes, knowing Chancellor Warren Candler’s objection to women students at Emory, Eléonore walked to the nearby university from her Lullwater home while the Chancellor was away from campus and enrolled in Emory University’s Lamar School of Law in 1917.  She graduated in 1920, and two years later was named president of the Atlanta League of Women Voters.  She married former Emory classmate Harry L. Greene, and the two lived with their three children in the family home at 870 Lullwater Road.  In 1979, Emory University established the Eléonore Raoul Trailblazer Award which is given to an Emory Law School alumna who has blazed a trail for others through her own professional and personal endeavors.  Eléonore lived to be 94 and died in 1983.

“The opportunity to own this historic estate home designed by Walter T. Downing is an opportunity to own a part of Atlanta’s rich history,” said Kellum Smith of Engel & Völkers Buckhead Atlanta, who has the property listed.  “I love that this home is where Eléonore Raoul lived and worked.  I can envision her in front of the library fire making plans and writing speeches late into the night to embolden the suffragettes.  As a real estate professional who specializes in Druid Hills and Atlanta’s best Intown neighborhoods, I am always surprised by how many people do not know about the Druid Hills neighborhood and its gorgeous architecture and rich history.  If you have been to Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the Druid Hills Golf Club, then you have been to Druid Hills.  The neighborhood is also home to the famous “Driving Miss Daisy” house, which is just three doors down from 870 Lullwater Road.”

The Raoul and Greene family home remains as gracious as it did during Eléonore’s long life.  The lovely English-style Tudor home on two acres has only had a few owners over its 100+ years, and retains its splendid architectural features.  It’s situated on a hilltop on two pristine acres with treetop views of the Lullwater Conservation Garden and Bird Sanctuary from the front terrace, library and master suite.  Fortunately, the home’s owners have appreciated its many original architectural elements and left them unchanged through the years.  These include a tiled front terrace, elegant oak-paneled library and expansive foyer with a grand staircase.  The home also boasts seven fireplaces with original surrounds, limestone lintels in the solarium, mahogany pocket doors leading to a private suite of upstairs rooms, slate roof, copper gutters and much more.  Outside, the rear of the home includes a private courtyard, guest house, fire pit, sweeping lawn and English-style herb and flower garden.  Landscape architect Ed Castro designed the grounds in keeping with the home’s history.

“I believe Walter T. Downing and the Raoul family would be proud to see how well the original architecture has been preserved,” said Smith.  “We are looking for a special buyer who appreciates the home’s history and features and will continue its tradition.  Of course, we expect people will want to make improvements to the home to suit their needs, but that can certainly be done without compromising the original architectural integrity.  Too many historic homes throughout Atlanta have been torn down or modernized beyond all recognition.  Thankfully this is not the case with this beautiful and significant home.  870 Lullwater Road is a treasure waiting to be discovered.”