Set high upon a grassy hill at 3640 Tuxedo Road, the five-bedroom, Regency-style estate built in 1935 as Windcrofte represents one of the finest works of Frazier and Bodin. Better known as the Woodruff Mansion for the Coca-Cola executive—the one and only Robert Woodruff—who dwelled within its walls, it was bought by businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Guy Millner with his wife, Ginny, in 1990. They’ve served as inimitable stewards of it since. A former designer, homeowner Ginny Millner now dedicates her time to animal activism. Yet even surrounded by gleaming marble, sumptuous canopy beds and a grand piano, Ginny Millner’s most prized possessions are her pets. On any given day, the animal activ- ist can count as many as 10 dogs under one elegant roof.
Throughout her fervent years of activism, the New Leash on Life founding member has aided adoptions, spaying and neutering efforts, fundraising, educational initiatives and resource sharing on an enormous scale. Her current effort, Fix Georgia Pets (www. fixgapets.com), raises funds that filter into the Humane Society, LifeLine, the Fulton County
Animal Shelter and more. She also works with organizations such as Planned Pethood, Village Vets and the 24-hour Ark Animal Hospital.
“I’m so passionate about it, I live it every moment,” Millner says from her perch in Tuxedo Park, which boasts the sort of sweeping lawn that’s the signature for this tony part of Buckhead.
“Ginny still lives here in a way that carries on the original intentions of the house,” says her friend Boyd Coons, executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center, noting her old-fashioned decorating flourishes and devotion to formality. “The drawing room hasn’t been swept away for a casual eat-in kitchen.”
Shortly after Millner—a designer who worked with Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Bill Blass—moved to Atlanta from New York and bought the 14,000-square-foot home, it was christened the site of the 1990 Atlanta Decorators’ Showhouse. Millner tapped decorators Mark Hampton and T. Gordon Little and left her own mark on a few spaces. In more recent years, local designer Susan Lapelle finessed a few rooms.
The recently deceased Henri Jova added a pool house in the mid ’90s, complete with a fabulous cantina bar thatmakes Millner feel like she’s vacationing in Mexico, where she spent her youth. It abuts a putting green—a favorite feature of Guy Millner and their grandchildren—as well as “wonderful” fig trees.
In the years since they purchased it, the Millners have kept much of the interior aesthetic intact (just look at Mr. Woodruff’s wood-paneled study), but transformed his downstairs conference room into a meeting space and children’s playroom. Most notably, the house has been a backdrop for countless charitable functions—many of them animal-oriented. In future years, the exterior may change a bit (Harrison Design Associates has proposed drawings to improve it), but with the Millners presiding over those efforts, we trust the residence will remain one of Buckhead’s best-preserved.
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