Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky “masterpiece”

Beneath its double-helix chimney, Morningside manor with English countryside DNA (and a basement pub) has had only three owners since 1930s

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Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"
The Morningside house is listed for $1.95 million.

Like an unruly but intelligent child, a legendary Atlanta alt-weekly newspaper was born, coddled, spanked, nurtured, and ultimately raised within the walls of this uniquely non-traditional Morningside house. It’s a wellspring of stories, in more ways than one.

A chiropractor commissioned the original structure to be built on a treed-studded, half-acre lot along Beech Valley Road, east of Piedmont Park, in 1934. The second owner, as legend has it, won the house in a poker game. That lucky card player sold the home in 1963 to an ambitious young couple—Chick Eason, then a Georgia State University math professor, and his photographer wife Debby—who would become the parents, so to speak, of Creative Loafing, etching themselves into the annals of Atlanta media history and blazing a path for alternative news coverage across the South.

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"
The home’s double-helix chimney was created by local mason Philip Raines.

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

The Easons, in fact, created the first issue of the feisty, free weekly publication in what is now the cellar of the Morningside house in 1972. (Original name: P-s-s-t . . . A Guide to Creative Loafing in Atlanta.) As the Loaf grew into what the Easons have called the first successful alt-weekly in the Southeast, the brick-built, manor-style home became a hub for writers, artists, musicians, and other miscreants of all stripes. Alongside the business, the couple raised three kids—and a few dogs and cats—at the house as the decades rolled by. But like publishing, life has changed, and the time has come to part ways—if the market allows.

“It’s a special place to me and my family,” Debby Eason, now 88, says. “And I like to think we changed Atlanta within these walls.”

Last month, following Chick’s death at age 92 in July, the third owners of 1289 Beech Valley Road across its almost nine decades listed the property for sale. Its size (five bedrooms in more than 5,200 square feet) and tony setting are commanding a handsome price: $1.95 million. Marketed as a “captivating . . . architectural masterpiece” and “historic work of art,” the Eason home is one of many in the area priced well north of $1 million, but none are quite like this. It’s niche to the nines, modeled after cottages in England’s Cotswolds region, as evidenced by the stained glass, beefy fireplaces, sculptures, built-in bookcases, and an olde-worlde-style front door that wouldn’t be out of place on a Hobbit House.

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Listing agent Samantha McKinlay, a Realtor with ERA Foster & Bond, says groups of neighbors streamed through during an open house before Thanksgiving, “just to see this home that they had grown up knowing but had never seen inside.”

“They had funny stories about Debby and Chick, who seem to be characters in the neighborhood,” she adds.

The Easons’ families both hail from England, and Debby says the home’s style struck a deep chord when they first laid eyes on it nearly 60 years ago.

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

As the newspaper added pages—from eight to 144 at one point—and expanded to cities from Charlotte to Tampa, so too did the Morningside house grow. The Cotswolds theme carried into a basement modeled after an English pub, with its artful fireplace crafted by local mason Philip Raines to include window seating and a single-slab mantle. A major addition in the 1990s also added the two-story owners suite, where Celtic symbols are etched into a circular window over the bed and nearby double-doors.That room also counts a view—above the fireplace of stacked North Carolina river stones—up to the home’s showstopper feature: a double-helix chimney, also created by Raines, inspired by elaborate Victorian chimneys found around Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"
The basement was designed to evoke an English pub.

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

A kitchen that could smack as a bit closed-off and dated for discerning buyers of today takes the indoors-meets-outdoors theme to extremes with its expansive atrium feature (what the English might call a conservatory). “As soon as I saw it,” says McKinlay, who herself is English, “I recalled the conservatories in the homes of many people I knew.” Just beyond, bucolic views from the wraparound deck include treetops, a babbling stream, and the relics of a 1930s concrete pool and fountain on the property.

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Now for sale, Creative Loafing founders’ home is a quirky "masterpiece"

Photograph by Sabrina Samuel, courtesy of ERA Real Estate

Like the sheer abundance of character and quirks, one sticking point for Atlanta buyers could be the lack of a garage, though uncovered parking is plentiful. As the listing notes, the floorplan and grounds are ripe for creative adaptation.

Debby Eason listed for sale the “Morningside Manor,” as McKinlay has dubbed it, to uproot, move closer to family in Florida, and start a new business. (“She is feisty—in a good way—and fascinating,” notes the Realtor.)

“Although I’m sad to be leaving all the comforts and unique character of Beech Valley,” says Debby, “I’m hoping the next owners will prosper as we did.”

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