Talk of the Town - Home is where the past is November 02 2005

At home with the March of Dimes' state director

By day (and sometimes night), Brian Ziegler, Georgia's state director of the March of Dimes, spends his time upholding the organization's grassroots ideal that small contributions can go a long way toward helping the tiniest of babies. In addition, he works on a number of regional and national assignments for the organization, as well as pro-bono consulting for nonprofits. In the last year alone, he has helped three such groups.

And even with all that on his plate, Ziegler manages to find some downtime, which he typically spends with Dill and Scout — feline friends whose names come from characters in To Kill a Mockingbird — in his Buckhead apartment at the Paces. Cats are not the only thing Ziegler collects: His passion for art of all kinds is evident from the copious antiques and artifacts found throughout his home. Examples include a Spanish table with French chairs that adorn the living room, a hand-woven Native American belt of his great-grandfather's, and a traditional votive holder that he found outside a church in Mexico after members had converted their flame-burning candles to electric. And then there's his fine art collection. Right beside his self-made ceramics, sculptures and photography, you'll find pieces from friends, local artists and legendary artists. To top things off, there's a wall-to-wall mirror that reflects the eclectic items.

How does living here at the Paces fit your lifestyle and your work?

Much of Atlanta's entertainment, business, media, and government industries take place within about a 15-mile radius of downtown Atlanta. So much of the social fabric of the city and what it takes to move the city forward takes place within in that dense perimeter. It allows me to spend much more time with my work and the city. Being able to walk to work when the weather is right or to leave at any hour called for social or business activities is just huge. It's helped me fall into life instead of out of life.

Do you do a lot of antique roadside shopping?

Yes. The best place I find things is driving home alongside the Mississippi River. It's kind of the last refuge of inter-America, no one really goes there and no one really leaves.

Is there a special part of your house?

Each room really has a different purpose and is set for a different mood. I like to think there's a lot of voices in my space that speak to me, but each room has people, from the artists' [work] I've bought to the furniture that I've acquired or brought with me from my family. There's a sense that when guests or friends are here that they kind of sense and feel uniqueness about that as well, and that helps them to stay.

Do you entertain a lot?

Yes, for work or (laughing) my cats' social benefits. Those mad hatter parties are the talk of the town.