The construction on the Hay House began in 1855 and continued into 1859. It was built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style.
The 18,000-square-foot mansion spans four levels and is crowned by a two-story cupola. The house if absolutely beautiful and has soaring ceilings on all levels.
The Hay House was very ahead of many homes from this time. The Johnson’s three year honeymoon in Europe inspired many technological amenities were unsurpassed in the mid-19th century. When constructed, the house had hot and cold running water, central heat, gas lighting, a speaker-tube system, in-house kitchen, and an elaborate ventilation system.
The statue is named Ruth. The Johnston’s acquired the statue when they were on their honeymoon.
One of the most widely copied features of Renaissance architecture were the great staircases from the chateaux of Blois and Chambrod. The Hay house is filled with beautiful stained glass. There are two particularly large stain glass windows. One is in the dining room and the other is above the grand staircase, pictured above.
In my opinion, the Hay House is the most beautiful historic home I have ever visited in Georgia. It is the second most opulent that I have ever visited in the Southeast. The first one being the Biltmore. It is definitely worth going to see.
Also you can pay a few more dollars and go see the 4th floor and the Copula which I definitely recommend! It was so cool to go up and out onto the balcony. It was a beautiful view of the city and we had a nice crisp clear day where we could see quite a distance.