Druid Hills Historic District
With the destruction of the Civil War and the transformation of the Peachtree Road Corridor from residential to commercial, the existence of old south residences in Atlanta has all but disappeared. However, the Druid Hills area contains a plethora of historical homes from the early 1900’s. The National Park Service maintains that this area is rich in examples of period architecture. The area became a canvas for famed urban planner Frederick Law Olmsted and the area became a retreat for Atlanta’s political, professional and commercial families.
Olmsted was pursued by Joel Hurt, an Atlanta developer interested in capitalizing on the expanding Atlanta housing market around 1900 to create livable suburbs. With the advent of commuter rail and the automobile, well to do shakers and movers looked to Hurt for more bucolic housing scenarios. With his partnership with Olmsted, Hurt brought in the designer best known at that time for planning Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, the Capitol grounds in Washington DC and for his role in designing Washington Park in Chicago. Olmsted’s vision is observed on Ponce de Leon east of Highland running through the Fernbank museum area and bordering the Emory University district. He foresaw a divided boulevard for Ponce de Leon with park space in the median. Still a prosperous and bustling center for Dekalb County, it is also bordered to the east by the county seat, Decatur Georgia. A rolling landscape with lush greenery and an international influence, it remains a mostly residential area that also boasts the Druid Hills Golf Club and near by East Lake Golf Club where the 2013 Tour Championship runs from September 19 through 22, sponsored by Coca-Cola.