One of the largest homes in Macon, GA, is on the market for $2.5 million. For a buyer in search of a one-of-a-kind backyard, this mansion delivers.
Known locally as the former Barnes estate, the near 17,000-square-foot grande dame located at 1386 Waverland Drive sits on nearly 16 acres of private land. It comes with a storied history nearly as lavish as the gatherings that were once hosted here.
The house was originally built in 1946 by a real estate developer, Emmett Barnes and his wife, Edwina, who hosted many extravagant parties at their mansion.
Throughout the years and several owners later, the home has expanded in size. It now includes five bedrooms (each with its own fireplace), six bathrooms, a ballroom, and a modern kitchen.
Additional amenities include built-in bookcases, cathedral ceilings and skylights, a wine cellar, media room, and a sauna.
But what makes this enormous property truly unique are the elaborate grounds on the back of the home. You’ll find everything from a gazebo, swimming pool, and tennis courts to a stand-alone chapel.
The property also lays claim to being the largest private Chinese garden and largest residential fountain system in the country—according to a report filed with the zoning office.
Out back, you’ll also find a Chinese-themed entertaining room, ballet studio, koi ponds, and temple area with a reflecting pond.
According to the listing agent, Regan Skinner of Keller Williams, this assemblage of a mansion, gardens, and additional structures is a feat that would be nearly impossible to replicate.
“If you were to build the property that it is today, it would cost between $25 million to $35 million,” she says. “The home and grounds are really nothing like you have ever seen.”
Skinner says the estate’s owner told her that Barnes took an engineer with him on a trip to China, and asked him to replicate a garden that the couple fell in love with there.
“The current owner has owned the property for the past 10 years,” she adds, “and is selling the home because it is a large property. It’s just too big for his current needs, and he just doesn’t have time to keep it up.”
And while the current owner is in the business of building churches, he isn’t the one who constructed the chapel on the property.
“The Barnes were big animal lovers and went overseas to a place of worship where they were able to bring their animals, so they replicated that here,” Skinner says.
As for the potential of this very particular property, the options are wide open.
“The property would be perfect as a wedding venue, but I think the next buyer will be someone who will turn it into something that will embrace the community,” she says. “We have had a lot of out-of-state interest in the property.”
With 16 acres to work with, a buyer could also choose to head in a completely different direction. Some elements of the mansion and its grounds are worth preserving, but others may need a modern refresh. Or a buyer could reap the rewards of the land.
“You could subdivide some of the land, but there is a lot of stone on the property, so it might be difficult,” says Skinner.