Hay House | Macon, Georgia
Macon GA 31201
Macon’s Hay House, one of the finest antebellum houses in America, has been featured on A&E’s “America’s Castles” and is known as the “Palace of the South.” This four-story mansion exudes Southern charm and beauty with its breath-taking interior décor of 18th-century furnishings, Italian Carerra marble fireplaces, marbleized and trompe l'oeil finishes, a music room with a 30-foot clerestory ceiling, and exquisite plastering combined with a beautiful landscape and red brick exterior.
K C, a recent reviewer on tripadvisor.com says: "Have toured many homes over the years and this left me speechless. The detail, architecture..all stunning! Our tour guide was fabulous and made this experience one not to forget. I'll be recommneding this to all my friends who are travelling south!"
William Butler Johnston and his young wife built the Hay House between 1855 and 1859 after spending an extended honeymoon traveling throughout Europe. They built the house in the Italian Renaissance Revival architecture, a unique decision in the Antebellum South. The 18,000-square-foot mansion spans 4 levels and is crowned by a 3-story cupola that adds grandeur and splendor to the home. The Hay House was built with modern amenities uncommon for the time, including hot and cold running water, central heat, a speaker-tube system, in-house kitchen, and a ventilation system.
After the passing of the late Mrs. Johnston, Mary Ellen Johnston and her husband William Felton moved into the home, adding electricity and updating the plumbing system for the three indoor bathrooms. After the Felton’s deaths, the home was sold to Parks Lee Hay who lived in the home until her death in 1962.
The Hay House was then used as a private museum before it changed ownership to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in 1977. The home has since been declared a National Historic Landmark and its 26 principal rooms and 80-foot cupola can be toured Tuesday through Saturday.