The stately granite exteriors of the academic halls at Oglethorpe University on Peachtree Road are landmarks. Brookhaven residents are less familiar, however, with the interiors of these beautiful old buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An example can be found by enter-ing Phoebe Hearst Hall, directly across from the signature Lupton clock and bell tower visible from Peachtree.
Walking into Hearst brings one into the Great Hall, which has massive oak columns and a ceiling more than 20 feet high. The overall effect projects the ambience of an English country manor. Designed by the noted architect Walter T. Downing—an associate of the Atlanta architec-tural firm of Morgan and Dillon—the interior reflects Tudor and Gothic Revival styles.
To the side of the Great Hall is an impressive oak-trimmed staircase, pictured here, which as-cends to a dramatic landing in front of a huge leaded glass window, giving excellent daylight into the handsome interior.
“There is a Dickensonian touch to it that conjures up winter nights and somehow, too, it brings back fragments of ‘Tom Brown at Oxford,’” a local reporter noted. Oglethorpe University has been like that since opening its doors at its present location back in 1916.
Dr. Paul Hudson, historian at Georgia Perimeter College and Oglethorpe University and a longtime resident of the Brookhaven area, writes stories for the Brookhaven Buzz.