Welcome to Walter Place… The home was built by Harvey Washington Walter in 1857 and it was designed by a local architect, Spires Boling, as a classic Greek Revival house but his unique touch was to add massive medieval Gothic towers with castellated battlements to each end of the house . . a look that is distinctive to this day to Walter Place.
When Holly Springs was captured by Union forces in 1862 Gen. Ulysses S. Grant commandeered Walter Place to be a residence for his wife and son and her slave.
After the War it became a hospital for the Yellow Fever Epidemic that swept the area in 1878 taking with it Col. Walter and three of his sons.
His youngest daughter Irene however married an immensely wealthy entrepreneur and shoe manufacturer, Oscar Johnson, and Walter Place began a second exciting chapter.
In 1903 Irene and Oscar Johnson hired another famous architect, Theodore Link, the architect of the then new Mississippi Capitol and they acquired two additional neighboring “cottages” . . the 1834 Featherston Place and the 1836 Polk Place . .to add to their homeplace.
To tie it all together they hired George Kessler who had been designing noted city parks in Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Memphis to design a forty acre botanical park and create their paradise.
Today Walter Place fronts on W Chulahoma Avenue one of the main downtown streets in Holly Springs while Featherston Place and Polk Place are both on South Craft Street with the formal entrance to the gardens in between.
Irene Walter and Oscar Johnson had style and they lavished their attentions on their project and restored Featherston Place and Polk Place . . both noted for their English style with basements that provided relief from the stifling summer heat.
The Johnsons lived at Walter Place when they weren’t in New York or Paris or the Hamptons. It was the Gilded Age and Walter Place prospered. It was furnished and filled with appropriate art and antique furnishings.
He had a railroad car, lots of friends and family, and life was glamorous
However Oscar died in 1916 and the home-place went into a long sleep.
In 1983 the current owners bought and rescued Walter Place, they also bought back the two houses that had been sold, as well as fifteen acres of the gardens and began an award winning restoration.
Original furnishings were returned to Walter Place and the house with its sixteen foot ceilings was filled with appropriate furniture, mirrors, chandeliers, and historical memorabilia.
The gardens have come alive with waterfalls, endless natural trails, fish ponds and walking paths.
300 W. Chulahoma Ave. – Offered at: $9,500,000
Listed by Ernesto Caldeira 504.523.1553 and David Abner Smith 504.495.2387 of Dorian Bennett Sotheby’s International Realty 504.944.3605. For more information on this property and others we have listed please click here!