Historic Georgia Residence by Pioneering Feminine Architect Out there for $849K


What do you get when a historic house becomes the residence of a renowned journalist for 23 years? A good story, of course—which is exactly what the next owners of The Echo House will be getting. The price of the eye-catching property is $849,000.

The three-bedroom home in Madison, GA,  was built in 1915 and designed by Leila Ross Wilburn, one of the state’s earliest female architects.

The first owner of the home was Dan Carter, who was reportedly one of the last horse-and-buggy doctors in the county.

The detached garage, where Carter’s buggy was stored, was renovated by a previous owner, the late James McManus, a former CBS news correspondent and chief of press advance for Robert F. Kennedy. McManus died in 2022 at the age of 90.

Front exterior


Front porch


Breakfast room


Newly renovated kitchen


Living room with twin fireplaces


One of the three bedrooms


One of the bathrooms


Sunny views and spacious yard


Well-preserved property

The Echo House was the first house to be constructed on the street, and it retains its original 1-acre lot size.

The floor plan features a long room with twin fireplaces and hand-painted sconces. In the 1930s, the Morgan County High School held its senior prom here.

A lovely 50-foot terrace runs the length of the front of the house.

Much of what we know about the home today comes from McManus’ meticulous research. The longtime journalist spearheaded the effort to posthumously recognize Wilburn in 2003 as a Georgia Woman of Achievement. A prolific architect, Wilburn designed numerous houses and apartment buildings. She died in 1967.

Renovating from the ground up

McManus also made some improvements to the property. They include new hardwood floors in the bathroom and kitchen and a remodeled cook area with custom cabinets and state-of-the-art appliances.

The primary suite comes with two walk-in closets, as well as an attached room that can be used as an office, home gym, or private den.

“He spent 10 years renovating the house from the foundation up,” says McManus’ daughter, Allison Fender. “He had steel jacks placed under the house to level out the original hardwood floors. He spent years restoring the wood trim in the house back to its natural state, and took great care to preserve the plaster walls.

“He researched everything he did with the goal of restoring and maintaining the house as it was intended by the architect, while also making it liveable in our modern age,” Feder adds.


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