Cecil A. Alexander, a Jewish man born in 1918, is a prominent citizen of Buckhead. He earned architectural degrees from Yale and Harvard and went on to become a prominent architect in Atlanta. Alexander was also a civil activist, combating drunk driving, as well as a Marine dive-bomber pilot in WWII.
Abstract of Interview
Cecil Alexander recalls the early years of his architectural career in Atlanta and his inspiration for the Roundhouse on Mt. Paran Road, in which he lived with his late wife, Hermi. He also recalls her death in a drunk driving accident and the trial that followed. He speaks in depth about saving what is now “Hermi’s Bridge” in 1972 as well as the recent restoration of the bridge. Alexander goes on to discuss the architecture in Atlanta and the homes that he has lived in over the years. Finally, he talks about life in Buckhead, race relations, and the impact that he has had on the community.
Interviewed by Chad Wright, Wright Mitchell, and Mera Cardenas, January 23, 2010.
In the video clip below, Alexander explains how he found the land on Mt. Paran Road on which he built his home with his first wife Hermione in 1957. He also recounts why he designed the modern house with a circular plan. The Cecil and Hermione Alexander House, also known as Shenandoah or the Roundhouse, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 25, 2010.
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Buckhead Heritage Society
3180 Mathieson Drive, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30305