504 Line Street NE
The stately Greek Revival home known as Shadowlawn majestically sits on the corner at 504 Line Street NE in Old Decatur, just across the street from Frazier Park. Its name was chosen based on the deep shade created by the old oak trees surrounding the residence. The home was constructed circa 1874 at the height of the Gilded Age- a time like none other in America’s history – when high society parties were all the rage. While strolling through Shadowlawn, one can easily imagine young ladies coming out parties and or weddings taking place on the lawn while guests mill about on the porticos sharing the gossip of the day. In keeping with Greek Revival homes made popular in the early 19th century, a two-story portico anchors the front of this house. The unusual arched windows show influence from the later Italianate style and the window ornamentation repeated at the tops of each of the front windows are referred to as its eyebrows. In the late 1800s, Shadowlawn was home to one of Decatur’s most respected heroes: Dr. William Gardner Gill and his wife Elizabeth. Dr. Gill served as president of the Morgan County Medical Society. Yet for all of his success, unimaginable tragedy struck Dr. Gill in 1888.
Called out of retirement to assist with a yellow fever outbreak, he was one of five physicians who perished while caring for the sick and dying yellow fever victims. In the early 20th century, ownership passed to B. F. and Virginia Holmes. From the 1930’s through 1940, Lloyd L. and Olive Lively lived here. Glynn and Cathy Tubb called Shadowlawn home for the next 4 decades, bringing the home into the 21st century. The Tubb family is credited with preserving Shadowlawn as they improved many aspects of this treasure during the time of their ownership. In 2020, stewardship of Shadowlawn passed to yet another prominent Decatur physician, Dr. Randall Riehl and his wife, Lauren. Soon after moving in, the Riehl’s began adding their own touches some of which include French antique chandeliers, antique style push button light switches, a main level bathroom and basement renovations. Some original light fixtures were repurposed in other areas of the home and the antique tin cornices remain in the dining room and parlor. The elevator, installed around the 1940s, remains operational. Also remaining is the beautiful ornate marble fireplace mantle the origin of which has been traced to the New Orleans area.
Shadowlawn has had only a handful of owners and has never been sold on the open market. It has been featured in Southern Living and local publications and has served as the backdrop for weddings, wedding receptions, parties, and photoshoots. Today, preservation of the home remains a priority for Randall and Lauren as Shadowlawn celebrates its 150th-year anniversary. Let your imagination take over as you take in the beauty of this 19th-century majestic home, its grand furnishings, and its magnificent holiday decorations on December 9th.