Located just minutes from downtown Alpharetta is a pastoral estate called “Providence.” Inspired by Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home, the 26-acre gated property at 1865 Bethany Way includes 600 feet of lake frontage, several equestrian pastures, and a stately house designed by Stephen Fuller, one of the nation’s top residential architects.
David Chatham, CEO of Chathambilt Homes, Atlanta’s oldest home-building company, bought the undeveloped property 15 years ago and quickly went to work building a dream house for his wife, Rhonda, and their three young sons. “It took more than six months just to grade the property,” he said, adding that it was well worth the effort. “I love the solitude and privacy here. It’s been a wonderful place to raise our boys.”
Although the 18,000-square-foot house is large, it’s not intimidating, Chatham says. “We worked hard to achieve a warm and comfortable look. It’s proportioned well and scaled for family life, and the rooms are very inviting.”
The classically inspired home has eight bedrooms, a large dining room, library, fitness center, and home theater. The gourmet kitchen features walls of warm glazed cabinetry, two large islands, and a walk-in pantry. A screened porch includes a stone fireplace and an outdoor kitchen. There are lake views from most of the rooms in the house.
Then, there are the recreational amenities: a tennis court, basketball court, and heated pool. The manicured grounds include stone walls, a fountain, and miles of walking trails. A two-story guest cottage, attached to the main residence by a porte-cochère, features a large bedroom and bath, great room, laundry room, and kitchen.
David and Rhonda, both of whom enjoy entertaining, especially love the home’s spacious kitchen and keeping room area. “Our family is very close, and we’re often together for football games, birthdays, and other events,” said David. “This house is ideal for family get-togethers.” Providence served as a wedding venue for one of the Chatham sons, and all three held their wedding receptions there, with one making an especially memorable entrance when he arrived with his bride in a helicopter.
Over the years, the estate has been used for a number of high-profile corporate events, including a Rolls Royce Kentucky Derby party and a Maserati SUV unveiling celebration. Hollywood has also come calling. Vacation, the 2015 movie starring Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, and Chris Hemsworth was partly filmed at Providence.
Now that the Chathams’ sons are grown and out of the house—the youngest married in July—the couple want to downsize. “Although we plan to stay in the area, we just don’t need this much house anymore,” said David. “We’re ready for the next chapter in our lives.”