In a letter dated June 12,1959 Wilbur Kurtz (the historical consultant on the set of Gone with the Wind) writes to Julian Foster (the man who dismantled Tara in Hollywood and brought it to Atlanta in 1959) to congratulate him on his plan to restore and display the movie icon in Georgia.
Dear Mr. Foster,
Thanks for your good letter of the 9th instant. I’m sure I’m only one of many who at one time or another in the last ten years, has had the thought that a permanent visualization of Tara would be fitting service rendered to the countless readers of GWTW and to those who saw the motion picture version of it. If there is any other like instance of a fictional creation becoming so imbedded in the consciousness of the literate people of the earth, I don’t know what it is.
Atlanta is indeed fortunate on two counts; one; the setting of the story belongs to its environs, two; the impossibility of removing it therefrom. Your project of taking an airy nothing and giving it a definite local habitation…of transforming the written word into a domain full size and three dimensional, that embodies and visualizes a vanished way of life, on ground to which it belongs, is one well worthy of anybody’s best endeavors.
That you have elected to do this, in imminently to your credit and nobody is looking forward to its accomplishment with more eagerness than I. It was my pleasure as you know, to have a part in the filming of the picture, and I too, confess to a “deep personal emotion” as I recall those thrilling thirteen months at the Forty Acres and the Selznick Sound Stages, at Culver City.
Let me know if I can be of assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
Wilbur G. Kurtz