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Palace of the South

By Linda Tancs

Hay House (Johnston-Felton-Hay) in Macon, Georgia, is designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, unusual for residential architecture, particularly considering the conventions of the antebellum South. Lived in by two families over three generations, it earned the moniker “Palace of the South” during the tenure of the Feltons (extended family of the Johnstons). A private house museum and National Historic Landmark, it spans four levels and is crowned by a three-story cupola. A model of wealth and good taste, most of the furnishings date from the Hay family’s occupancy, highlighted by the 1857 marble statue “Ruth Gleaning” by American expatriate sculptor Randolph Rogers.

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