Thursday, January 17, 2013

Trygveson – nope, not a typo

Trygveson or the Pink Castle or the Andrew Calhoun House has always been a favorite house of mine since childhood.

"Trygveson" comes from the Welsh version of the last name of Mary Guy Trigg, wife of Andrew Calhoun, the original owner, per Helen Young.

Designed by Atlanta’s own Neel Reid (1885-1926) in 1923, this house is magnificent. I have also seen references to this being a Phillip T Shutz house. Perhaps they collaborated, they did work for the same firm. Even today, there seems to be a bit of debate going on as to who really designed the house; regardless of the controversy, the result is stunning.

Back in the early 1970’s my best friend and I spent a lot of time driving around Buckhead to see all the Neel Reid hones listed in a book I had just purchased, Architecture of Neel Reid in Georgia by James Grady. At that time, Allison Thornwell, Jr. owned the home in the 70's. I think the Thornwell family owned it for over 50 years.

The estate entrance at Pinestream Road, off of West Paces Ferry, still has the two stone columns at the top of Pinestream.

The Calhoun house in the 1920's as seen from W. Paces Ferry Rd, from American Classicist by Elizabeth Dowling

Street Entrance now - photo by Whitehaven

We pulled up to the house in my mother’s station wagon and stood there in awe of how lovely the house was. It was summer and hot. The doors and windows were open.

Back entrance from driveway 

In my late teens, I was young and impetuous, I had little respect for private property and we got out and peeked in. I felt like Howard Carter when Carnarvon asked "Can you see anything?"-- Carter replied with the famous words: "Yes, wonderful things."

photo by Whitehaven

And, yes, we walked right in and snooped all over the first floor. Not a soul was home. But, hey, this was about 1975 and people left their houses open. Our story, if we got caught, was that we were Tech students, studying architecture. Right.


Same mural scanned from Architecture of Neel Reid in Georgia 

Photo by Beacham

Dining room - scanned from Architecture of Neel Reid in Georgia 

Living room or ballroom - photo by Whitehaven

photo by Whitehaven

I have always felt, like many in Atlanta, that this house is magical, whether it is called Trygveson or the Pink Castle or the Calhoun House or the Thornwell House.

This beautiful Atlanta home is now for sale. Someone please buy it, restore it to glory (it does need some work.) It is a priceless jewel.

You can see more pictures at and search for 3418 Pinestream. And on Whitehaven's blog

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