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William L. Monroe, Sr. family photographs

Collection number: ahc.VIS234

Scope and Content

This collection consists of photographs of William L. Monroe, Sr. and family members, wife Ila Smith Monroe, and children Evelyn Doris Monroe and William (Billy) L. Monroe, Jr. The majority of the images were taken in Monroe Gardens at 1896 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, adjacent to Monroe's Landscape and Nursery Company. Of special interest are background features of the garden, such as the lodge, chapel, bomb shelter, and stone terracing, which provide details on the garden plan created by Monroe Sr.


  • 1920-1953


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

William Lott Monroe, Sr. (1892-1965), landscape architect, was born in Biscoe, North Carolina and graduated from Elon College. Through his military service, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1917, staying after discharge to work for the local nursery C. A. Dahl Company in 1920. Monroe married Ila Smith in 1921 and they had two children, Evelyn Doris and William (Billy) Lott, Jr. In 1925 Monroe founded his own nursery, Monroe's Landscape and Nursery Company, located at 1898 Monroe Drive (originally Boulevard, but renamed in 1937 in Monroe's honor) in the Piedmont Heights neighborhood, next to his home at 1896 Monroe Drive. He created a formal garden, named Monroe Gardens, that was open to the public on his residence property and included a lodge that hosted clubs, concerts, and dances. Monroe designed for both residential and commercial properties and was well known for his use of stonework, streams, and rock gardens in naturalistic settings. Beginning in the 1930s Monroe served as special consultant for Fulton County and helped to develop Chastain Memorial Park as well as Adams Park. Many of Monroe's projects included Buckhead residences such as the Troy Chastain estate on Habersham Road, the Hugh Nunnally estate on Blackland Road, and the Chester Martin estate on Blackland Road. Monroe also worked on projects outside of Atlanta, such as Dunaway Gardens in Coweta County and Berry College in Rome. Monroe served as president of the Southern Nurserymen's Association and helped support the establishment of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia. William L. Monroe, Sr. died in 1965. His son, William (Billy) L. Monroe, Jr., joined his father's business in 1948 and operated the nursery until retiring in 1986.


29 image(s)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2014

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2015.

William L. Monroe, Sr. family photographs
Jennie Oldfield
October 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305