Melrose is an intact antebellum estate where the main house and surrounding cultural landscape remain largely unchanged. The house, slave quarters, outbuildings, museum collections, and gardens help to illustrate the daily life of the former residents of the estate. As a whole, Melrose presents a comprehensive picture of the Southern planter class and the enslaved people who lived and worked there.
The main house at Melrose is one of the great houses of the American South, an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture. The cultural landscape includes existing formal gardens as well as the location of former vegetable plots and orchards which provide an interactive gardening experience. These outdoor classrooms support both educational and research opportunities, engaging youth and adults in a wide range of interpretive programs.