Mr. Livingston commissioned the foremost classical architect of the twentieth century, John Russell Pope, to design his Greek revival residence in 1937. Mr. Pope designed such monumental structures as the Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives and the National Gallery of Art. Construction of the Livingston structure took place from 1938 through 1940. . Mr. Pope died before the house was completed. The construction was reputed to cost $250,000 in 1940 dollars.
The mansion served as Mr. and Mrs. Livingston’s hunting lodge and was said to be Mr. Livingston’s favorite residence. He and Eleanor enjoyed having guests to hunt and enjoy the splendor of Dixie.
The home has over 14,000 square feet of living area on the first and second floor. This does not include any of the service areas: the entire third floor (which is not visible from the outside of either the front or the back of the structure), the entire basement and three-car garage or the kitchen area. The home was uniquely designed so that servants could travel from the third floor to the kitchen area and basement to carry out all of their responsibilities without being seen or going into the living quarters unless they were called to do so.
Mr. & Mrs. Livingston’s attention to details is evident throughout the entire mansion, i.e. the wonderful paneling made from curly pine cut from the plantation, unequaled craftsmanship in the carving of the living room moldings, initials incorporated in wrought iron, and tiles replicating actual Livingston dogs adorning the gentlemen’s bath off the bar and Mr. Livingston’s fireplace in his upstairs sitting room.. It is reputed that they spent a year traveling throughout the world collecting furnishings and accessories.
Sadly, there was a period of time when the home was unoccupied and fell into disrepair. Currently, a concerted effort is being made by the Foundation and friends of Dixie to return this architectural treasure to its original splendor and the joyous sounds of entertainment are heard again.