Auburn merchant, A.L. Dillard completed this house in 1894 on what was once part of the Scott Plantation. It was the first house in Auburn to have indoor plumbing and electricity. The grey stone exterior was made using a secret formula invented by Dillard which also made the blocks moisture proof but took nearly three years to manufacture all the blocks needed. Mrs. Dillard became the first woman to register to vote in Lee County on October 12, 1920 following passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In 1927, Sigma Pi Fraternity was chartered here. The James L. Lawson family owned the house from 1939 to 1984 and Greystone was home to Mabel Yerby Lawson who became the first woman to practice law in Alabama.
Today, nearly 125 years later, Greystone has been completely renovated and is ready to continue a tradition of gracious entertainment.
This room features military inspired accents and late 19th century period style. Look carefully at the distortion in the original glass windows. Is glass a liquid or a solid? If you guessed liquid you were correct. Over 125 years the glass has “melted” due to gravity. The bottom of the glass is now actually thicker than the top!
Auburn University President Ralph Draughon and his wife, Caroline, made Greystone their first home in Auburn as newlyweds in 1931. The dining room features a large antique cabinet from England which sits directly across from a built in china cabinet made to match the detail in the front windows. The wallpaper in this room helps to “fool the eye” and hide plaster imperfections and the sinking effect, which made this room “sink” over 7 inches from one side to the other. Walk through the door that leads to the kitchen and you’ll notice that it swings both ways. This original door was designed to enable easy access while trying to carry dishes and trays.
This room was added to the original house after it was built. A second basement directly underneath relies on a separate set of trusses that are not continuous with the rest of the house. Since the kitchen was often the source of accidental fires, many homes built during this period had a detached kitchen.
The Mabel Yerby Lawson Library is filled with legal books just as it may have been she lived here. Notice the small closet size, which is a practical and money saving answer to the Room Tax. This tax was paid on every room and every closet over a certain size in Auburn. Greystone contains just one closet on the main floor and only two on the second.
What did people do for entertainment in 1894? You’ll find a beautiful answer to that question in the baby grand piano which has a 20th century twist it’s a player.
Look at the ceiling and you’ll note it matches the gold leaf one in the Dining Room. This technique was used to “capture the light and send it dancing” all night. You might also notice a strip of molding all around the room that is mounted one foot from the ceiling. This was done so that a picture could be hung on the plaster walls.
The perfect place to party and dance! The brick patio is tightly spaced for dancing. This is a great spot for occasional tables accented by a garden fountain and an arbor dripping with evergreen ivy. Step outside from the Main Hallway and you'll find the deck with a large bar table and a vintage galvanized tub for cooling drinks. Overhead bistro lights provide additional dramatic lighting.