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At Home & At Work in Druid Hills

Growing up in Kansas, Richard Burgess developed an early fascination with American antiques and started restoring furniture at age ten. After studying historic preservation and architecture at Kansas State University, he practiced residential design in Buckhead for more than 15 years.   He shifted careers to pursue his passion for interior design and the restoration of fine antiques and heirlooms: furniture and objects that – though their owners did not realize it – could be repaired and made beautiful again. “I enjoy preserving history and the joy it creates for clients seeing objects they love restored,” he said recently.

Although he moved to Atlanta in 1996, it was not until 2012 that Richard became involved in the Druid Hills Tour of Homes & Gardens.  Every inch of his East Lake Road home, featured on the 2012 tour, has been restored and decorated by Richard during the past 16 years. Through tour-related conversation, he recently discovered that his home was designed by Leila Ross Wilburn, one of Georgia’s first women architects who practiced during the early 20th century.  Richard says that all Druid Hills residents owe it to themselves to take a look at http://www.mak-decatur.org/lrw.shtmland review the pattern books.  “You can’t go just by the renderings in the plan books,” he said. “I identified my house from the floor plan as there are many derivations throughout our neighborhood.”

“I love working with the tour committee, being involved in the community and getting to know so many people,” he said. This year, he is chair of House Management for the tour, a challenge that entails organizing the routes that visitors will take through the homes, figuring out the number of docents that will be needed, recruiting and orienting house managers, and anticipating an extremely busy weekend.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. What a lovely story of Richard’s involvement! Two years ago I overcame my own shyness and perception that I didn’t know anything about architecture and design and volunteered to be a docent on what I figured would be the slowest time of the Tour. It probably was, but I had a wonderful time, as smiling and being friendly, and pointing in the right direction, were the most important things you do! They also give you an 80-word crib sheet that lets you sound informed and intelligent. I hope that a lot more neighbors will come out and be part of the fun. Really, even men can do this.

    MIke St. Louis

    04/23/2014

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