Harpsichord Haven: Spacious Villa at Park Springs Makes for Grand Home

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Dorothy Freeman (“Dordy,” to almost everyone but “Dr. D” to her former students) and Charlie, her husband of 64 years, were getting weary of taking care of their beloved large home on Hilton Head, and at the same time, their four sons encouraged them to “leave hurricane country behind.” So, four years ago, they moved inland to their beautiful, spacious (2,400+ sq. ft) fourth-floor home at Park Springs, the premier retirement community in Atlanta.

One of the main challenges of this move was finding a way to keep their three harpsichords, all beautiful full-scale instruments modeled on historic harpsichords used during the 18th century.

“I asked Park Springs to measure the elevator at least four times to make sure it was large enough for the instruments. I was so happy to find that we had 2 inches to spare,” notes Mrs. Freeman, who fell in love with the harpsichord’s crisp and clear tone in her early thirties. She even wrote a booklet for the general public about her passion: “If It Is Not a Piano, What Is It?” for the general public, and she and Charlie supported the publishing of a book by Colonial Williamsburg’s curator of musical instruments, John R. Watson: “Changing Keys: Keyboard instruments for America 1700-1830.

Mr. and Mrs. Freeman first met when the choirs of Wellesley College (female) and Bowdoin College (then all male) performed together.  They were married on her graduation day. Because of Mr. Freeman’s position as a copywriter with a variety of advertising firms, the family lived in New York, Cleveland, Buffalo and Marion (OH) before he changed profession to college teaching and they moved south to Augusta (GA).  There they lived in a beautiful Victorian home. A commissioned painting, “Silence,” depicting a workman transporting cleaning a lock on the Augusta canal still graces their walls.

In addition to the generous size of their current home, the Freemans enjoy living on their ‘fourth-floor cul-de-sac’ at Park Springs. “It is our own little neighborhood, and we have found the variety of people who live here to be very friendly. There is a real sense of community here.”

The Freeman’s appreciate the diversity of ideas and experiences of Members they have encountered at Park Springs. Mrs. Freeman, who explains that she hears music horizontally (melody) rather than vertically (harmony), understands that different people learn in different ways. To help her sons, she founded her own one-room school where underachieving students were encouraged to tap into their potential.  She also got her PhD in Education, writing her dissertation on  ‘Developing a democratic classroom.’   “The school was an incredible learning experience for me.  Yes, the students learned a lot but sometimes I think I might have learned even more from them!”

These days, the Freeman family members, including 17 grandchildren, know that the world is  fascinating when you look at the positive!”

That’s beautiful music to everybody’s ears.

To learn more about Park Springs by Isakson Living, or if you’d like to schedule a personal tour of Park Springs, please contact one of Park Springs’ Residency Counselors at 678-684-3300 or visit www.parksprings.com.


  1. One other ‘perk’ Dordy and Charles’ Villa offers is a spectacular view of the Firework Shows at Stone Mountain Park during summer evenings.

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Park Springs
500 Springhouse Circle
Stone Mountain, GA 30087

p: 678-684-3300

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