If you’ve ever dreamed of living in an English manor house, this just might be your chance. The home at 542 Argonne Drive, which was designed by architect Jon Ambrose—formerly of Atlanta, now of New York City—was inspired by a photo of an ancient Scottish castle. Three years in the making and completed in 1996, the 6,882-square-foot house sits on 1 1/2 private acres in one of Buckhead’s most coveted neighborhoods.
The home’s gabled stucco facade, slate roof, parapet walls, and antique chimney caps all hearken to another era. A hand-forged wrought iron gate came from a prominent home in Washington, D.C., and the terra cotta balustrades along the back of the house from a mansion-turned-convent in Philadelphia. Layers of stone from a Tennessee quarry were used as accents around the front door, on the corners of the house, and over the garage. Ambrose’s meticulous attention to detail is also evident inside the home, which features beamed ceilings and solid walnut doors salvaged from an embassy in Washington.
Jonathan and Lissa Webber bought the house in 2012, shortly after becoming engaged. Lissa, who grew up in Buckhead, found the home while her fiancé was working on a long-term job assignment in India. “He told me he didn’t want just any house. It had to be special,” she said. “I knew when I found this home, it was the one.” She took him on a virtual tour, and he was sold.
The six-bedroom house features five fireplaces, a study, two laundry rooms, and a spectacular two-story, oak-paneled library with spiral staircase. The master suite includes a sitting room, large bath, and designer closets. On the terrace level is a nanny suite with a separate entrance. There’s also a built-in whole-house stereo system.
Then, there are the outdoor living areas, which include a heated saltwater pool with fountains, surrounded by a large stone patio. The space, which can accommodate more than 100 guests, also has a built-in gas grill, speaker system, and stacked stone walls. Terraces along the back and side of the house provide views of the manicured grounds, including a boxwood labyrinth. Outdoor lighting, controlled via iPad, includes path lights, step lights, and dramatic uplighting in the woods surrounding the house.
Lissa especially loves the home’s spacious front yard. “It’s deceptively large,” she said. “We held a seated wedding rehearsal dinner there for 150 guests. Because it’s below street level, it’s like being in a cocoon. It’s very private and tucked in.”