Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Druid Hills - Historic Atlanta Neighborhood

Atlanta has many beautiful neighborhoods, but Druid Hills is unique in its beginnings.  It was planned in the late 19th and early 20th century by American's most famous landscape architect, Fredrick Law Olmsted, who also created Central Park in New York.

Olmstead was invited by a local Atlanta businessman, who owned the 1400 acre site, to visit and discuss the possibility of designing the development of Druid Hills.  A fortuitous collaboration followed!  Olmstead believed that streets and parks should follow the "natural contours of the land" and should be in tune with the environment, and the neighborhood should have "roads of moderate grace and curves, avoiding any great disturbance of the natural topography".

Olmstead's plan inspired eminent builders like Neil Reid, and Lewis Crook and Ernest Ivey to design some of the finest examples of late 19th and early 20th centure architecture.  Atlanta's most prominent citizens build homes here and enjoyed its graceful homes, winding streets and lush parks.

Druid Hills has been listed on the National Historic Registry since 1979 and is considered historically significant in the ares of Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Community Planning.  The Historic Preservation Committee is diligent about maintaining the integrity of the historic homes and protecting the area from encrouchment.  Some of the homes can be viewed during the annual Tour of Homes and Gardens.

Also located within the borders of Druid Hills:

  1. Fernbank Science Center and Planetarium
  2. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
  3. Druid Hills Country Club
  4. Fernbank Museum of Natural History
  5. Emory Village
  6. Emory University
  7. Lullwater House and Park

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