Andalusia Farm opens new center preserving the legacy of Flannery O’Connor

Celebrations are taking place at the home of an acclaimed middle Georgia author as a new center is established to preserve her legacy.
Andalusia Interpretive Center

MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Andalusia Farm, the former home of celebrated author Flannery O’Connor, has opened a new Interpretive Center in Milledgeville to commemorate what would have been the writer’s 98th birthday on March 25. The center’s grand opening was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.

More than 100 guests attended the opening, including one of O’Connor’s first cousins, Frances Florencourt, who spoke about her memories of summers at Andalusia Farm.

“To me it’s really a dream come true because we’ve always had the vision of expanding Andalusia,” Florencourt said.

The Interpretive Center houses many of O’Connor’s personal belongings and will serve as a space for interpretive programming, exhibitions and as a point of entry for visitors.

“It’ll also serve as a wonderful window about a dairy farm in the mid-1950s,” Georgia College and State University‘s Director of Historic Museums Matthew Davis said.

Davis explained that planning for the Interpretive Center has been a decades-long process. In 2017, Andalusia Farm was acquired by O’Connor’s alma mater, Georgia College, and in 2022, the property was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. $3.5 million was invested in the construction of the center, which was designed to blend in with the historic architecture of the farm.

“As an individual, Flannery O’Connor is one of the more important authors of the mid 20th century,” Davis said. “And to preserve this site which served as an impetus and inspiration for a lot of her works helps us to understand her life and her scholarship better.”

The center also serves as a retreat for scholars and writers to study O’Connor’s work.

With the Interpretive Center now open, Florencourt describes what she hopes Andalusia can do for aspiring writers.

“I hope it inspires them, and I hope it creates for them a space in which they can create away from all the noise and become better at their craft and hopefully make an impact on the world,” she said.

The celebration will continue Saturday with book signings from Amy Alznauer, author of The Strange Birds of Flannery O’Connor, a lecture from Dr. Monica Miller about her book Dear Regina: Flannery O’Connor’s Letter’s from Iowa and a birthday party for O’Connor.

Categories: Baldwin County, Education, Featured, Local News