“Glover House, Marietta”

"Glover House, Marietta" (detail and unfinished), by Robert Leedy, watercolor on Arches 300 lb. Cold Press paper, 29.5" x 22" (full size)“Glover House, Marietta” (detail and unfinished),
by Robert Leedy, 2009,
watercolor on Arches 300 lb. Cold Press paper,
29.5″ x 22″ (full size)

One of the first buildings to catch my eye when we moved to Marietta was The Glover House at 81 Whitlock Avenue SW – just two blocks west of Marietta Square.  The once residential home set  back on a shady, corner lot is now an office and I always assumed it was a CPA’s or an attorney’s office.

The house has an interesting history. Though Italianate  in design as it stands today, the original house was built in the Greek Revival style in 1851. After a fire in the 1880’s, the house was rebuilt.

The original owner was John Heyward Glover a rice planter from South Carolina who moved to Marietta and opened a bank and leather tannery. He was also Marietta’s first mayor after the city was chartered in 1852.

During the Civil War – after the nearby Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in June of 1864, Union troops occupied the house through November of that year, when they began their infamous March to the Sea burning everything along the way. Most of Marietta’s civic buildings were set afire and as a result, many residences caught on fire. While our Northern guests were at the Glover home, they looted heirloom silver and stole family portraits. They also stabled their horses in the house’s parlor.

A few weeks ago, I knocked on the door of the Glover House to ask permission to paint it.  I was surprised to learn that it houses an Irish carpet design firm and the walls of the inside foyer were filled with photographs of stunning carpet designs the company had created for  casinos, hotels, restaurants, corporate offices, etc.. The firm employs a handful of people – many of whom are artists who came out to observe my painting that afternoon. It made me feel good to know that such a beautiful home was a workplace for artists and designers and not accountants and lawyers.

The painting above is still in the works. The image here is a smaller detail of a portion of the painting. I liked the reflective light from the hedge and walkway that creates rich, warm yellows on the porch of the house. I also liked the deep, cool colors of the foliage in the distance. I plan to deepen the colors of the reflective light, add more detail in the architecture, and increase the darks in the foliage.

I now feel like I know the house well.


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