It’s been an adventurous two weeks! The husband was able to escape medicine for a mini-vacation. When we have time off, we tend to over-plan the things we hope to do. But we did get to the Swan House on a cold and windy day in Atlanta.
If your a history fan visiting the Atlanta area, the Atlanta History Center is a very good deal for the money. Our tickets included entrance to a history museum with golf, folk art, Civil War, and Olympic items, as well as, the Swan House, the Smith Family Farm, AND nine days to visit the Margaret Mitchell House in Downtown Atlanta.
I really regret that we didn’t get to spend a lot of time in the museum or visit the Smith Family Farm. Even though my husband lived in Atlanta for a while, we had no idea there was so much to do at the history center. Due to traffic, we didn’t arrive at the history center until mid-afternoon, so it was kinda a rushed experience. Hopefully, some warm spring or summer day we can explore everything we missed.
As a YA Lit fan and continuous aspiring writer, I was personally interested in the Swan House’s Capitol/Hunger Games Tour. For those of you not familiar with The Hunger Games, it is a trilogy of books set in a bleak, oppressive future and follows the journey of a young girl as she is forced to fight and survive in an arena similar to a Survivor location. I like the series because I consider the main character to be a strong female role model. Love or hate it, I think you have to admit there’s not as many female action heroes as there should be. So, for me, supporting the series is a small feminist statement.
And, I do like Jennifer Lawrence as an actress. I was impressed by her acting skills in Winter’s Bone. As a self-professed, clumsy person, she’s a good example that when you fall, you should pick yourself right back up and laugh about it.
But, more about the Swan House itself. The mansion was built in 1928 by the Inman family. The Inmans were wealthy and prominent members of the Atlanta community, entertaining many guests. The home came to be known as the Swan House because many of the rooms used for entertaining contain a swan figure. When visiting the house, it’s a fun to play “spot the swan” in the room.
Although the outside of the mansion is very grand and somewhat intimidating, the inside is very comfortable and friendly. It’s still very elegant and beautiful, but not extravagant when compared to the Biltmore Estate. I liken it to Martha Berry’s home in Rome, GA. Grand, but not tiring.
The Capitol Tour is a guided look at stories, items, and photos from the filming of Catching Fire. If your a fan of history, The Hunger Games, and film-making in general then you’ll enjoy the tour. If you’re only there for The Hunger Games, it might be a bit of a disappointment. I imagined that there would be more photos and stories of the actors on the set. Maybe an interview with the person who picked the Swan House as a location and why. Something more on the level of what the Margaret Mitchell House offers to Gone With The Wind fans. There were interesting props and it was enjoyable Hunger Games fan info. But if you’re looking for a fan experience similar to visiting Forks, WA or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then best keep hoping they build a Hunger Games theme park.
Since the guide knew we were interested in the history of the house itself, she took extra time with us and seemed genuinely happy to do so, which was awesome and fun. I understand that it might be hard and tiring for people who love history to rattle on about a fictional world if they’re not also writers. It’s really a pity there doesn’t seem to be an extra special guided tour just for the Swan House’s history. From my understanding it’s mainly self-guided. I went for the outside beauty of the mansion and to learn about the filming, but I left wanting to know more about Emily Inman and her maid.
Again, maybe when they move the Atlanta Cyclorama to the history center, the family and I can make a return trip. I’d like to investigate the place further.
All and all, well worth the visit! And another item to cross off the 30 before 30 list.