Home HistoryAtlanta History An abandoned mansion with a colorful history

An abandoned mansion with a colorful history

by The 100 Companies

Son of a Coca-Cola co-founder, Asa Griggs Candler Jr., built his massive Briarcliff Estate in the early 1920s. The 42-acre Atlanta property was once a sprawling mansion that hosted extravagant parties for the elite and Coca-Cola heirs, and was home to Candler’s exotic pets, including four lions, a gorilla, six elephants and more.

After going bankrupt in 1948, Candler was forced to sell the mansion. He donated his menagerie of pets to what was the beginning of Zoo Atlanta. There have been several proposed project ideas to transform the estate, however, today it sits vacant under the ownership of Emory University.

Katy Parker, 360 Media, Inc.

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1 comment

S. Butler August 15, 2021 - 1:25 am

This short blurb is inaccurate. Asa Candler, Jr. never went bankrupt. At the time of his death in 1953 his fortune was estimated to be around $2mm, which he left to his wife, children, and servants. The writer also implies that he sold his animals as part of the sale of his estate in 1948. However, the Briarcliff Zoological Park opened in 1932 and he was already looking for a buyer by 1934. The sale to the Atlanta Zoo (then the Grant Park zoo) was completed in 1935. The zoo fixtures were sold off and the enclosures were demolished more than a decade before the property was sold.


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