Herndon Home Museum |Atlanta GA

Completed in 1910, the Herndon Home was the residence of African American entreprenuer and business man Alonzo Herndon and his family. Herdon was a former slave raised in a sharecropping family after the Civil War. The Herndon home is a two-story, 15-room Beaux Arts mansion built by local black craftsmen.  The home was primarily designed by Adrienne Herndon, Alonzo’s first wife and a teacher at Atlanta University. The couple had one son, Norris. Adrienne died of Addison’s disease just three months after the home was completed. The residence was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.

Alonzo Herndon studied barbering, and owned and managed a string of barbershops in downtown Atlanta after the Civil War, one of which was considered to be the most elegant in the country with marble floors and chandelier. Investing his income into real estate, Herndon became the largest black property owner in Atlanta by 1900. Later, Herndon founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, located in the Sweet Auburn Historic District, and became Atlanta’s first black millionaire.

Left to right: Alonzo Hernon, unidentified man, Clara Simkins, unidentified woman, Norris Herndon, Adrienne Herndon, John Henry Bailey, and Thomas Herndon

After Alonzo’s death in 1927, his son Norris assumed the presidency of Atlanta Life Insurance. During this period the company experienced its greatest growth. Norris lived in the Herndon Home for much of his life, and filled it with many decorative arts from his travels to Europe, as well as keeping his parents original furnishings. In 1947, Norris established the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon foundation, a charitable trust which operates the home today as a museum recounting this family’s phenomenal rise from slavery to leadership of the nation’s black business community.

The Herndon Home is located at 587 University Pl., NW, in Atlanta. Guided tours are conducted hourly from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment only on Saturdays. There is a fee for admission. Call 404-581-9813 or visit the Herndon Home website for further information.


Herndon Home Museum
587 University Place NW, Atlanta, GA 30314 USA
Phone: 404/581-9813
Website: herndonhomemuseumvolunteers.com
Map & Driving Directions:


The Herndon Home Museum

The Herndon Home Museum is operated by the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation, Inc. The mission of the Foundation is to increase the awareness and appreciation of the significance of the Herndon Family and the historical context in which the family lived and worked. The Herndons, one of the most prominent Black families in Atlanta's history, sharply reflect the city's distinictive development as a center for Black business, education, and culture. From Alonzo Herndon's rise from slavery to leadership in the Black business community, the Herndons are a unique resource of local and national significance in the interpretation of Black struggle and achievement. The objectives of Herndon Home Museum Programs are: 1. To provide for the repair and care of the Herndon Home, Carriage House, and grounds; 2. To provide for the management and care of the Herndon family collection of furniture, furnishings, textiles, decorative objects, manuscripts, photographs, books, and other materials; 3. To conduct regularly-schedules tours of the Home Museum; 4. To exhibit the Herndon Family Collection and related materials; 5. To conduct a variety of educational programs that increase understanding of the Herndons and their history; 6. To conduct research on the Herndon Family and their historical context; 7. To publish information which compiles, interprets and promotes the history of the Herndons; 8. To promote awareness of the museum and its history through publicity in the various media; 9. To operate the museum and its program(s) with a trained corps of paid staff and volunteers. The Herndon Home, designed by Adrienne NcNeil Herndon, was built between 1908 and 1910 with Alonzo Herndon acting as general contractor. Construction of the home was performed exclusively (absent the plumbing and electrical systems) by African-American craftsmen. The formally composed building is constructed with multi-colored brick, and features a two story entry portico supported by Corinthian columns. One-story porches to each side of the building echo this theme in brick piers and wooden capitals. An elliptical fanlight over the main entrance and the balustrade above the full entablature of the building's cornice add a distinctly Georgian Revival flavor to this imposing residence. A fine example of upper income dwellings in the early 1900's, the interior draws upon various design traditions, including the renaissance revival forms of the reception hall and dining room, and the Rococo detailing of the music room. Designated a national Historic Landmark in 2000, The Herndon Home is a lasting tribute to the hard work and talent of the Herndon Family. The Herndon Home opened as a tour museum in 1983 and is open for tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Group reservations are also welcome.
The Herndon Home Museum
The Herndon Home MuseumJanuary 25th, 2015 at 5:30pm
What better way to celebrate the month of African-American achievement than to take a tour of the Herndon Home Museum? Even if you've visited before, share the unforgettable experience with a friend and family! For February, group tours are available Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Individual tours, Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Call 404-581-9813 for reservations
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The Herndon Home Museum
The Herndon Home MuseumJanuary 24th, 2015 at 5:21pm
On February 14, 2015, the inaugural class of “Game Changers” will begin the free, year-long enrichment program which focuses on leadership training and business plan development for metro-Atlanta high school students. Approximately twenty students have been selected to participate in the program. These students were nominated by a principal, guidance counselor, or teacher and each submitted an essay on how the life of Alonzo F. Herndon serves as an influence for modern-day entrepreneurs. At the end of the session, completed business plans are presented to a panel of local entrepreneurs and business executives and participants have the possibility of being awarded Herndon Foundation post-secondary scholarships.The Game Changer Program is offered in partnership with the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center (MCEC). In-class sessions and enrichment seminars will be held in the state-of-the-art Massey Leadership Building on the Morehouse College campus. (Pictured below is Executive director Charles Ward speaking with a student about the program)
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The Herndon Home Museum
The Herndon Home MuseumJanuary 23rd, 2015 at 5:21pm
Through the brilliance of a variety of community volunteers and dedicated staff members, the Herndon Home was transformed into a Christmas Wonderland and a Kwanzaa cultural oasis.
While space will not permit a full review of all of the dynamic photographs of the Home during its transformation, the Foundation would be remiss if it did not thank the following volunteer groups and individuals for their decoration and programming efforts: Herndon Capital Management (Grand Foyer); Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta (Living Room); Morris Brown College (Living Room); Pine Center Garden Club (Grand Stairwell); Delta Sigma Theta (Dining Room); Jacqueline James (Breakfast Room & Guest Bedroom); Roslyn Reed (Jesse’s Bedroom); Morehouse College (Alonzo’s Bedroom); First Congregational Church (Exhibit Room); Alpha Phi Alpha of Atlanta (Norris’ Bedroom); Clark Atlanta University Alumni Association (Family’s Office Area); Atlanta Job corps (Lower Level Foyer) Shelly Lewis, Randy Boyd, Deyna Chisholm, and Gabriel Smith (Kwanzaa Display and Program). In addition to its photographic beauty, visitors to the Home during the month of December enjoyed special Christmas events each weekend and the culminating Celebration of Kwanzaa on December 20th!
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The Herndon Home Museum
The Herndon Home MuseumJanuary 22nd, 2015 at 6:15pm
Happy #MuseumSelfie Day! Come on by the Herndon Home Museum and snap a selfie with Alonzo Herndon!
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The Herndon Home Museum
The Herndon Home Museum likes a photo.January 22nd, 2015 at 5:34pm
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