Famed short story writer, essayist, and novelist of the Southern Gothic literary movement, Flannery O'Connor, lived in this house from birth (March 25, 1925) to 1938 with her family. Originally a single family home, the building now rents out two apartments. The house functions as a museum that commemorates the childhood and early life of O'Connor. Restored to its original appearance from the 1930s Great Depression Era, visitors can learn about Mary Flannery O'Connor's sheltered and quiet childhood by going on a guided tour. The house contains artifacts of the O'Connor family such as Mary's baby carriage, her childhood books with personal notes/criticisms, and photographs.
When it was constructed in 1856, Mary Flannery O'Connor's childhood home was only one story. Its design is consistent with Greek Revival architecture. The bottom floor, the living room where the O'Connor family lived, has two fireplaces and "heart of pine" floors on which furniture from the 1930s rests1. A beautiful chandelier lights the room and period lace curtains adorn the windows. In addition, the walls that are painted green with gold gilded borders are the original color and style, according to the tour information. Some of the living room furniture is also the O'Connor family's, including a lounge set and Mary Flannery's baby carriage. Also on the first floor, the kitchen and the dining room have been completely restored. The former has a period stove, kitchen items, and a sink2. In addition, the dining room was rebuilt where the O'Connor dining room once was. The second floor is occupied by two bedrooms that contain twin beds, dolls, and other personal objects owned by the O'Connor family2. Although the bathroom on the second floor was and is extremely tiny, this worked in favor O'Connor who would read to her friends while they sat in the bathtub, with her atop the toilet seat2. In 1993, a walled garden was constructed in the backyard, where O'Connor trained a chicken to walk backwards12. O'Connor was a devout Catholic and the church that she would attend (St. John the Baptist) was right across the square, in addition to the parochial school4. O'Connor could see the church from looking out her window5
Mary Flannery O'Connor was the only child of Regina Cline and Edward F. O'Connor, a product of the marriage of devout Roman Catholic Families in the Savannah area. Her father was stricken with lupus and the family decided to move to Millidgeville, Georgia for his health3. O'Connor's father passed away in 1941 and she was invited to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers Work (University of Iowa) for her graduate degree in creative writing3. She would go on to write some of the most prolific works of the Southern Gothic Literary Movement, starting with her novel Wise Blood in 1952. O'Connor is also known for her short stories and essays. Her collection A Good Man is Hard and Other Stories is considered the catalyst for her literary career. O'Connor would face the same disease as her father, systematic lupus erythematosus, after she had an attack in 1950 and would move to her mother's ancestral farm permanently, quietly living at Andalusia until her death in 19644. Her posthumous collection, The Complete Stories won the National Book Award in 1972 and three O. Henry Awards for short stories3.
In 1989, The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home Foundation purchased the house. In 2006-2007, the home went through a major $100,000 renovation, the majority funded by Jerry and Linda Bruckheimer, and the Bruckheimer Library inside the home that features Flannery O'Connor's work and childhood books, as well as books from the Great Depression period2. The museum hosts events like The Peacock Party, Ursrey Lecture Series, and the free Sunday lecture series.
"Historic Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home." Visit Historic Savannah. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2016. . Mobley, Chuck. "A New Chapter in the Flannery O'Connor Story." Savannah Morning News 7 Oct. 2007. Web. 18 July 2016. . Gordon, Sarah. "Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 08 December 2015. Web. 18 July 2016. Downes, Lawrence. "In Search of Flannery O'Connor." The New York Times . Web. 4 Feb. 2007. . Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home Savannah, Georgia. N.p., 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 18 July 2016. .