Susan M.  Hunter-Southern Homes and Plan Books

Susan M. Hunter

Bio

Susan M. Hunter is an independent writer in the Atlanta area who has published some of the first work on Wilburn. She received a master’s degree from American University and completed doctoral work in art history at Emory University, where she first began her research on Wilburn. She discovered Wilburn as a resident of a Wilburn house in the Atlanta area.

Sessions

Southern Homes and Plan Books, Sponsored by Anne Architecture

Southern Homes and Plan Books showcases the architectural legacy and design philosophy of Leila Ross Wilburn (1885–1967), a legacy that includes hundreds of houses in a variety of popular house styles, from bungalows to ranch houses, built using Wilburn’s plan books during the first six decades of the twentieth century. Wilburn opened her own firm in Atlanta in 1908 and practiced until her death in 1967. She published nine plan books that offered mail order house designs to contractors, builders, and prospective homeowners and allowed them the ease of choosing a preconceived design and construction plan. Sarah J. Boykin and Susan M. Hunter provide a survey of the southern homes built from Wilburn’s plan books, examining Wilburn’s architectural legacy and her achievements as a plan book architect. The book provides beautiful photographs of houses built from her plans, along with illustrations from the plan books themselves and other related documents from the time. Readers can thus see how her designs were realized as individual houses and also how they influenced the development of some of the Atlanta area’s beloved historical neighborhoods, most notably Druid Hills, Morningside, Virginia-Highland, and Candler Park, as well as the McDonough–Adams–Kings Highway (MAK) Historic District in Decatur. Today, Wilburn’s houses are enjoyed as appealing, historic homes and represent some of the richest examples of southern vernacular architecture to emerge from the plan book tradition.

Introducer: Paula Bloom

Dr. Paula Bloom, a TED speaker, author, clinical psychologist and frequent mental health expert on CNN networks. Paula co-authored the relationship book Why Does He Do That? Why Does She Do That? and contributed blogs to PBS’s This Emotional Life andThe Huffington Post. Paula earned her doctoral degree at Nova Southeastern University. She is long-time Decaturite with a deep love of Atlanta’s architecture and neighborhoods. Dr. Bloom believes that understanding where we’ve been helps to shape who we are and who we will be.

  • Decatur Library presented by WABE
  • Sun 3:45-4:30p Library

Southern Homes and Plan Books

An influential architect who left her mark on the New South Southern Homes and Plan Books showcases the architectural legacy and design philosophy of Leila Ross Wilburn (1885–1967), a legacy that includes hundreds of houses in a variety of popular house styles, from bungalows to ranch houses, built using Wilburn’s plan books during the first six decades of the twentieth century. Wilburn opened her own firm in Atlanta in 1908 and practiced until her death in 1967. She published nine plan books that offered mail order house designs to contractors, builders, and prospective homeowners and allowed them the ease of choosing a preconceived design and construction plan. Sarah J. Boykin and Susan M. Hunter provide a survey of the southern homes built from Wilburn’s plan books, examining Wilburn’s architectural legacy and her achievements as a plan book architect. The book provides beautiful photographs of houses built from her plans, along with illustrations from the plan books themselves and other related documents from the time. Readers can thus see how her designs were realized as individual houses and also how they influenced the development of some of the Atlanta area’s beloved historical neighborhoods, most notably Druid Hills, Morningside, Virginia-Highland, and Candler Park, as well as the McDonough–Adams–Kings Highway (MAK) Historic District in Decatur. Today, Wilburn’s houses are enjoyed as appealing, historic homes and represent some of the richest examples of southern vernacular architecture to emerge from the plan book tradition.


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