Tradition meets unique craftmanship
by Sally Litchfield
November 23, 2013 11:31 PM | 2962 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta resident Larry Zenoni sweeps the fall leaves off his 1909 built true craftsman style home on Forest Avenue. The home was originally built by Marietta resident George H. Keeler. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Marietta resident Larry Zenoni sweeps the fall leaves off his 1909 built true craftsman style home on Forest Avenue. The home was originally built by Marietta resident George H. Keeler.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
When Larry Zenoni decided to buy a home in 1999, he was drawn to the historic district of Marietta where he narrowed his search to two houses.

His home, built in 1909 in a true arts-and-crafts style, sits on a quiet street within walking distance of the downtown Marietta Square.

“I’m not really a person who wanted to live in a subdivision. All these houses are different. They have character to them and it was close to the (Marietta) Square. I walk up there all the time for dinner. When I first started exploring the area, I knew somewhere in this area is where I needed to be,” said Zenoni, who previously lived in a townhome in Marietta.

“This house was a better fit for me. It was different from any house I’d ever seen. I thought this might be a good place for me,” said Zenoni, a 1978 Georgia Tech graduate.

He grew up in Sandy Springs and moved to Marietta in 1983. He owns a small family manufacturing business in Marietta.

The traditional craftsmanship of arts-and-crafts style appealed to Zenoni.

“The arts-and-craft style was a revolt against all the ornateness of the Victorian age. They tried to keep everything simple and have a use for everything,” he said.

“I liked that the house has a few big rooms rather than a lot of small rooms requiring a different style of decorating or function for each one. That makes it good for me,” he said.

Typical of the arts-in-craft style are the many built-ins such as the window seat with underneath storage and the china cabinet.

“You didn’t need a lot of furniture because of the built-ins,” he said.

Although a previous owner built out the attic during the 1950s, adding two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, the downstairs remains in its original state.

“(The house) hasn’t been altered in these front rooms. The wood has never been painted. The radiators have never been painted. The leaded glass windows original. The brick fireplace and mantle are original along with lighting fixtures,” he said.

The maple floors are also original to the home.

“You don’t see maple floors too often,” Zenoni said.

Like most historic homes, Zenoni’s home comes with an interesting history.

George Keeler (former owner of Tranquilla, an antebellum home on Kennesaw Avenue currently owned by Beth and Greg Griffin) built the home with his first wife in 1909.

“(The Keelers) were downsizing from a Victorian house where they lived on Cherokee Street past the Montgomery House,” Zenoni said.

According to the 1910 census, Keeler was in his 60s at the time. He lived in the home until 1916 when his wife died. In 1916, Keeler sold the house to Guyton Reynolds, the son of a well-known Marietta dentist Aristedes Reynolds.

Three years later, Keeler married Sallie Camp, who lived in Tranquilla. Keeler lived in Tranquilla until he died in the 1930s. “Beth and Greg Griffin purchased Tranquilla from George Keeler, the grandson of the original George Keeler,” Zenoni said.

Several families owned the home between Guyton Reynolds and the 1940s when the Talbot family purchased the home. In 1992 Jennifer and Greg Palmer purchased the home from the Talbot estate.

“They were the ones who did all restoration to the house. They lived upstairs in the two bedrooms and bath while they worked on the downstairs. They came downstairs in the morning and could see into the basement while the floors were gone,” Zenoni said.

“I just tried to maintain the home. I have no plans to move. I’m comfortable here. I’ve pretty much got everything I need. All I’ve done is try to maintain what the people did before me,” Zenoni said.

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