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Installation of Historic Solar Panel

White House Solar Panel dedication ceremony, June 20, 1979. Image credit: Jimmy Carter Presidential Library/NARA

White House Solar Panel dedication ceremony, June 20, 1979. Image credit: Jimmy Carter Presidential Library/NARA

The City of Roswell and Friends of Mimosa Hall are set to install a solar panel at historic Mimosa Hall originally used on the White House during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. On loan from Unity College, the installation will take place on Thursday, June 20 at 5:00 p.m. The event will mark the 40 year commemoration of the original installation on the White House in 1979 and will serve as a symbolic marker of the progress, community and continued efforts in alternative energy.

Please join the City of Roswell and Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens to honor this landmark event.

Host:                    Mimosa Hall & Gardens
Date and Time:  Thursday, June 20, 5:00 p.m.
Venue:                 Mimosa Hall & Gardens 127 Bulloch Hall Ave., Roswell, GA 30075
Admission:          Free for all ages

President Carter's legacy has a special connection to Mimosa Hall, as Carter's aunt, Emily Dolvin, lived across the street in what is known as the "Roswell White House." In 2019, Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens entered into a long term loan agreement with Unity College so this original, still functional White House solar panel can be displayed at Mimosa Hall & Gardens as a beacon of inspiration.

As part of the sustainability efforts for Mimosa Hall and Gardens, Roswell Architect Simone du Boise, Principal of Cadmus Construction, will be implementing restoration designs to integrate solar power into Mimosa Hall’s roofline. The new roof will feature thin solar panels (about the thickness of a credit card) that will provide 100% of the building's energy. Once the new roof is installed, Mimosa will be “The Oldest Net Zero Building in the United States,” enabling the property to generate as much energy as it consumes – saving the City of Roswell approximately $5,000 per year.

About the Historic Solar Panel
40 years ago on June 20, 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the White House roof, designed to use the sun as an energy source to heat hot water. In 1986 during a renovation, the panels were dismantled and placed in storage until 1991, when Unity College, America’s Environmental College in Unity, Maine, gave them a second life by refurbishing them and placing them atop the college’s cafeteria roof, where they heated water for many years until their own renovations. 

Unity College now shares the Jimmy Carter Solar panels across the world, providing widespread awareness and promotion of alternative energy. The panels have been featured in various museums, including The Smithsonian and The Carter Library here in Georgia. Their story is also highlighted in A Road Not Taken (2010), a documentary by Swiss filmmakers Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller.

A viewing of A Road Not Taken will be hosted by the Carter Library and The Friends of Mimosa Hall & Garden on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Carter Library. Join the Friends of Mimosa Hall to experience what Jimmy Carter believes is the “greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people – harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.”

Host:                    The Carter Library and Mimosa Hall & Friends
Date and Time:  Tuesday, June 18, 7:00 p.m.     
Venue:                 Carter Library - 441 John Lewis Freedom Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30307
Admission:          Free for all ages

About Mimosa Hall and Gardens: Mimosa Hall was built in 1841 as one of the first permanent homes in Roswell. In 1918, Atlanta architect J. Neel Reid purchased the property and installed 5 acres of formal gardens. Mimosa remained in private hands until 2017, when it was purchased by the City of Roswell. Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens is fundraising to help the City with the restoration of both the house and the Reid gardens. In August 2018, Friends of Mimosa was awarded the Historic Landscape Preservation grant from the Garden Club of Georgia to restore Reid’s reflecting pool. For more information, visit FriendsOfMimosa.org.


Opening Day!

The gardens officially opened on Earth Day - Monday, April 22nd - with a ribbon cutting ceremony! Restoration of the grounds is ongoing, but the gardens are now safe for visitors and available for rental. The grounds are currently open for rentals only, but the City intends to make the space open to the public on a regular basis soon.


A Successful Night!

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Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens rang in 2019 with a festive Great Gatsby themed benefit gala. The event, held at the DoubleTree Hotel on Holcomb Bridge Road, joined together Roswell and Greater Atlanta citizens to generate excitement for the upcoming opening of the historic Roswell property.

The 5-acre gardens are expected to open in 2019. “We’re also planning to install a new roof,” explains Dr. Sara Harwood, Communications Director for Friends of Mimosa. “The funds raised from this gala will help us meet these goals.”

Architect Simone du Boise of Cadmus Construction will be implementing restoration designs for the property to integrate solar power into Mimosa Hall’s roofline; when completed Mimosa Hall will own the title as “The Oldest Net Zero Building in the United States!”

The gala featured live 10-piece band 120 East, who played a full set of both classics and contemporary hits. Other entertainment included a stand-up comedy routine by Todd Callen and speeches by event chair Michelle Slater, president Michael Harris, and former president Steve Gibson. Friends of Mimosa also presented two awards honoring Roswell citizens whose efforts have made a significant positive impact on the Historic District.

Ryan Pernice, owner of Table & Main and Osteria Mattone, past president of the Historic Roswell Business Association, and committee member for the Historic District Master Plan, was the recipient of the Phoenix Award.

Dotty Etris, retiring Executive Director of the Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau and founder of the Chattahoochee Nature Center and the Hospitality Highway program, received the Champagne Toast award.

Costumed guests enjoyed posing with a 1935 Jaguar, parked at the hotel’s entrance for the evening. Feathers, beads, and a Great Gatsby photo booth further added to the ambiance of the roaring ‘20s. 


Friends of Mimosa to Present Awards at NYE Gala

At our Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Gala, we will be presenting awards to honor two individuals who have made a significant positive impact on Roswell. Read our Press Release here.


Spring 2019 Internship

We are looking for an upper-level undergraduate or graduate student in History, English, American Studies, or a related field, to intern with us part-time in the Spring semester. For more information, please see the posting on our Volunteer page.


The Slave Dwelling Project Conference

Our Communications Director, Dr. Sara Harwood, will be speaking about Mimosa Hall at the 2018 Slave Dwelling Project Conference in Murfreesboro, TN this October. The Slave Dwelling Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, assists property owners in preserving and interpreting extant slave dwellings. The organization is well-known for operating "Overnight Stays" and interpretive programs in historic structures. The conference brings together stewards of historic properties, students, faculty, and practitioners of public history.  Dr. Harwood is looking forward to sharing the research that she has done on the enslaved persons who lived at Mimosa Hall.


Mimosa Hall is going solar!

Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens is fundraising to install a proprietary thin-paneled solar roof on the house, which will lower the City of Roswell's energy bill by $5000/year and make Mimosa the oldest Net Zero building in the country.

Please CLICK HERE for more information on this exciting project!

Simone du Boise, the genius behind the roof design, spoke with Michael Litten on Ride the Vibe about the project and her background in architecture. CLICK HERE to listen.

Steve Gibson, the first president of Friends of Mimosa, spoke about the project on Yale Climate Connections. CLICK HERE to listen. 


 

Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens release position papers.

To view each pdf, click on the following subject. 

 
 

 

In April 2018, Friends of Mimosa appeared on WSB-TV's "Georgia's Hidden Treasures." 

Click below to watch the clip!

 

Click below to hear Michelle Slater discuss Mimosa Hall & Gardens and The Friends on Positively Roswell Podcast.


 

For more news from Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens, please sign up for our e-newsletter below.

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