Most of you probably know by now that late last October, we lost our Furlow Gatewood, one of the most fabulous interior designers ever.
Okay, to be clear, the Furlow Gatewood homes I speak of in the headline were not owned by Furlow. And, perhaps a handful of you know of one of the homes, Iris Court. The owner was Furlow’s Georgian BFF. That’s Georgian, as in the US state of Georgia, not England’s neo-classical Georgian style of the late 18th century.
The primary focus will be this one home, Iris Court, in Moultrie, GA.
Moultrie is about a 90-minute car ride southeast of Americus.
Iris Court, also known as 1964 Tallokas Road is an extraordinary Antebellum, Greek Key Revival classic nearly destroyed in the mid-20th c. Soon, you will learn much more about Iris Court’s history.
So, how does Laurel, a former New Yorker, now Bostonian, know about Iris Court and its connection to Furlow Gatewood?
Last November, shortly after Furlow Gatewood passed away, I got a lovely email from Rod Collins, one of two photographers who took the incredibly gorgeous images in Furlow’s book – One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.
Rod wrote to thank me for the tribute to Furlow.
Thank you for remembering Furlow…
If there’s anything I can do to help you. Please let me know.
What? He follows my blog? How cool is that!
I thought about it for a few weeks and sent Rod an email, telling him I could use his help and would love to chat.
Soon after, I was on the phone with Rod, who shared many personal details with his delightful southern accent and gave me new insights. Do I remember them? Only small bits, However, I do remember sharing that I’ve only been to Atlanta, GA.
Rod said, “Oh, those folks? They are Yankees,” with an audible wink and a chuckle.
It’s funny, but I feel such an affinity for Furlow Gatewood’s decorating; it makes me wonder if I was born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line. But then, I realized that’s ridiculous. Furlow’s style knows no American regional boundary. It’s as classic as can be, and he could just as well be in southern England.
In fact, when visiting the esteemed architect Quinlan Terry’s home on my trip in 2017, his center hall was like visiting Furlow’s center hall’s first cousin across the pond.
As I gathered, Rod was a close friend of Furlow Gatewood and enjoyed visiting Furlow at his home in Americus every Friday. Yes, he saw Furlow every Friday and frequently took these exquisite images.
Now, more than ever, I’m so appreciative of that.
And not only that, he’s made them available for us to see on SmugMug.
On other days, Rod makes a living as an in-demand real estate photographer.
I know. It instantly conjures up both Gone With the Wind and Forrest Gump.
But hang on there! Stop scrolling! ;]
What struck me immediately is that some of the decorating had to have been done by Furlow Gatewood.
I asked Rod about the home and asked if Furlow did the decorating.
“Furlow left his mark on everything and everyone he came in contact with.”
However, for more in-depth information, he told me to contact Mark Minick, a native of Americus, Georgia. He’s another dear friend of Furlow Gatewood.
And, Mark is also an interior designer with a gorgeous shop in downtown Americus, Minick Interiors.
I’m not the best when it comes to interviewing or taking notes. I asked Mark when the home was built. He said, “I know it was pre-war.”
I said, “You mean the Civil War, right?”
Mark said, “Well, around here, that’s the only war there is.”
Iris Court was built around 1853 for Judge Stovall Jackson and his wife, Adelaide. However, the house was built in Albany, Georgia, about 70 miles away.
In the mid-20th century, the home was nearly torn down with the view of selling the fine architectural salvaged elements.
Fortunately, a young, talented classical architect, Edward Vason Jones, had known this home as a child and couldn’t bear the thought of it being torn down.
Subsequently, Edward found a buyer for Iris Court, Charles O. Smith. The home was dismantled and transported to Moultrie. Once there, Edward had the house rebuilt pretty much as it was, except he widened the central hall.
For the last 20 years or so, the most recent owner was Furlow’s dear friend Charlie Crisp. Sadly, Charlie passed away in February 2022.
Yes, Furlow lost his best buddy less than a year before he passed away.
A college has purchased Iris Court, I believe. Sorry, I didn’t write it down. But, it will be used as offices and entertaining space.
Let’s look at Iris Court as the house was in 2015.
I know. It’s an extraordinary beauty and one of the finest examples of the Greek Revival style I’ve ever seen.
Somehow I managed to find an image of the home when it was still in Albany. I do not know the photographer. However, the image is part of the public domain.
Above, you can see the windows are indeed closer to the front door. The upstairs looks to be the same.
Rod takes a lot of photos, and all of them are gorgeous. So, it’s a struggle to decide which ones to share.
I am so excited to share these with you for so many reasons. The lessons in this home are perfect– from the elegant perfectly proportioned architecture to the timeless furnishings.
Let’s go inside Iris Court to see Furlow Gatewood’s influence on this classic home in southern Georgia.
I can see why the hall was widened.
The front parlor.
I asked Mark about the window treatments. Apparently, they were already there when Charlie purchased the home. I would’ve preferred something more simple, but these are well done.
But, here’s something important.
THESE are the real-deal, classic traditional furnishings. It’s symmetrical but not always identical. No throw pillows, either.
And, there are Furlow’s wonderful slipcovers throughout the home and the “tell” that Furlow was here.
You will also find other neoclassical elements, such as classical busts, another Furlow hallmark.
And, remember Gerald Bland and his slip-covered Chippendale sofa? Yes, please.
Above is another parlor. There are many more images of these rooms on Rod Collin’s Smugmug.
Above is a fireplace vignette from the adjacent dining room. Of course, there is a sprinkling of beautiful blue and white porcelains.
One of my favorite spaces in Iris Court is the charming breakfast room.
Above, you can see a glorious built-in china cabinet.
Above is the elegant bedroom.
Okay, we will leave the main house because there’s another home, on the property, we need to see.
It is known as the pool house.
Okay, that makes sense. However, when I think of a poolhouse, I think of a place to change out of my wet things and maybe pee.
Well, I’m sure one could do that here, as well. However, this is a HOUSE that happens to be adjacent to the pool. It’s more like a glorious guest house for a family of eight.
But, HERE is where you will see the work of Furlow Gatewood even more so.
The home appears to be built since Charlie acquired the property in the early 21st century.
Above, Furlow in 2015 outside the “poolhouse.” I think this might’ve been Furlow’s home away from home.
I think you are going to be quite surprised. But, then, another hallmark of Furlow Gatewood home decorating is that it is full of surprises. Wonderful ones! Let’s go inside.
Yes, stained wood trim! And, lots of it.
It looks fantastic here. And of course, I’m plotzing over those key corners on the window casings.
Why does the stained wood look fantastic here but not in the room below?
Well, aside from this being a pretty dingy space, below are the reasons.
It’s the balance. Always the balance. The white slipcovers balance the white walls, and the robust Oriental rug balances the wood.
The over-scale neo-classical busts are also fantastic.
I’m kind of partial to this one. He looks so familiar. ;]
Haha! My very own first-born adonis, Cale. Poor guy. He was supposed to come here today but is stuck in western Mass as they got at least 30″ of snow! Oh my! I don’t know if he can make it tomorrow, either. Well, today, now.
I haven’t seen him since shortly after our trip to Crown Point on Dec. 1st!
I adore this library. I love the mail strewn all over the room. Mail sucks. I can see that Charlie and I would’ve gotten along famously.
Yep. We’re birds of a feather. I love everything here. See that white slipcover? That is precisely what I’m talking about when I say, “Add a white slipcover with a little box-pleated skirt to your traditional – a little too formal dining chair.”
And, one more incredible image, after we leave the poolhouse.
Charlie had built an exquisite limestone neo-classical monument for his mother on the grounds.
Here he is, 8 years ago, with BFF Furlow Gatewood– two fine southern gentlemen.
And, that is the end of our tour of the fantastic Iris Court in Moultrie, GA.
When you’re visiting Rod’s Smugmug, please be sure also to check out “Gray Moss.” Gray Moss was another property owned by Charlie Crisp. You will see Furlow’s influence here, as well.
Laurel, did you discover what happened with Furlow’s homes in Americus?
Yes, that is a good question. I do know a few things. First of all, every item was photographed, tagged, and cataloged. Then, it was wrapped and boxed if small enough for shipping. As far as I know, everything will be auctioned off at Stair Galleries in Hudson, NY.
I’m not sure when. Maybe next month. I will let y’all know more as soon as I find out.
In what looks to be Cuthbert House, Rod Collins is above in a mirror selfie. Here you can also see some of the tags.
As for the houses themselves, as I understand it, all of them except for Peacock House will be sold.
However, I do not know who’s living there.
Below are some photos of Peacock House taken by Rod Collins.
If someone were to say, “Laurel, you can have either Cuthbert or Peacock, I would be hard-pressed to say which one. They are all so magnificent.
Were there any surprises?
Well, I already knew when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, Furlow’s incredible style was there in how they were accessorized. However, the appliances, countertops, etc., were relatively essential.
Another thing I have always wondered about is air conditioning. Indeed, in southern Georgia, there was more than a ceiling fan to keep folks cool; yet, I never saw any evidence of it until now when Cuthbert House was empty.
What I’m surprised about is that they, too, are the basic registers from any hardware store. But, then again, Furlow’s fans were the basic fans, as well. Some things he cared deeply about, but anything needed for modern comfort, not so much.
I hope you guys enjoyed visiting these classic 19th c. southern Georgia homes.
Many thanks to Mark Minick, of Minick Interiors (please follow in Instagram) for sharing some of the history of Iris Court. And, of course, to Rod Collins for capturing in photos the exquisite art created by Furlow Gatewood.
Furlow’s remains are buried on the grounds of his estate near other family members. His tombstone says:
Timothy Furlow Gatewood
1921 – ?
I decided to stay home.
Please visit Rod Collin’s fantastic Smugmug for thousands of images of Furlow and much more!
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