Average sales price (2015): $993,779
In 1837, Henry Irby purchased 203 acres in what is now the center of Buckhead for $650. He opened a tavern and grocery store at the northwest corner of Roswell Road and West Paces Ferry Road that became a stopping place for travelers in the sparsely populated wilderness. Before long, the community that grew around Irby’s store became known as Irbyville. At some point in the mid-1800s, the head of a large deer was put on a post not far from the tavern, and from then on, the area became known as Buckhead.1 By the early 20th century, Buckhead had become a posh suburb of Atlanta, where many of the city’s wealthiest people resided. The area was annexed into the city of Atlanta in 1952, and as early as the 1960’s, Fortune magazine described it as “the top encampment of business executives in the Southeast,” and that remains true today.2 Sometimes called “the Beverly Hills of the East,” Buckhead is home to one-of-a-kind estates, an abundance of trees, the Southeast’s finest shopping and restaurants, and some of the nation’s best private schools.
ANSLEY PARK (F-11)
Average sales price (2015): $1,305,730
Development of Ansley Park began in 1904 when a group of businessmen led by Edwin P. Ansley purchased a large plot of land north of the city, creating Atlanta’s first northern suburb.3 Today, Ansley Park is no longer a suburb but an oasis of grand homes and green spaces set against the backdrop of modern skyscrapers in nearby Midtown. The neighborhood is revered for the architectural significance of its homes and inspired land plan, which incorporates wide parkways and majestic parks (Winn and McClatchey). Ansley Park is home to Ansley Golf Club (1912), which has been ranked among the top nine-hole courses in the United States bySports Illustratedmagazine.4 Many Ansley Park residents are also members of the nearby Piedmont Driving Club (1887), one of the most prestigious private country clubs in the Southeast.
Average sales price (2015): $1,163,556
Brookhaven was developed in 1911 by the Mechanical and Manufacturers Club, who hired Long Island golf pro Herbert H. Barker to design a nine-hole course on the property. A year later, the Brookhaven Country Club opened as Atlanta’s second golf course (after East Lake in 1906). Atlanta’s Capital City Club purchased the Brookhaven Club in 1915 and expanded the golf course from nine to 18 holes. The clubhouse was finished in 1928. The clubhouse and the community are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the community is a National Historic District. Many homes were designed by well-known Atlanta architects of the period including Neel Reid and Hal Hentz.5 Today, many Brookhaven residents choose to live in Brookhaven because of its country club lifestyle and proximity to Atlanta’s finest shopping, including Phipps Plaza.
DRUID HILLS (H-12)
Average sales price (2015): $531,695
Druid Hills dates from 1905 and is one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods. The area was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also created Central Park in New York City. Olmstead planned Druid Hills with winding, tree-lined streets and small parks, the most famous being Ponce de Leon Park, a picturesque string of parks along Ponce de Leon Avenue. The neighborhood contains some of Atlanta’s most historic mansions designed by such notable architects as Walter T. Downing and Neel Reid.6 In fact, one such home was featured in the Academy Award-winning film Driving Miss Daisy (1989). The community is anchored by Emory University, Emory University Hospital, and the internationally recognized Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Druid Hills is also home to the Fernbank Museum of National History, Fernbank Science Center and the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.
EAST COBB (Marietta and Roswell) (D-3)
Average sales price (2015): $522,078
East Cobb draws families who seek a suburban lifestyle with relatively low property taxes and excellent public schools, which are among the top 10% in the state including three of the state’s top 10 highest achieving high schools. East Cobb is also renowned for its competitive youth sports leagues. The area’s upscale shopping includes The Avenue at East Cobb.
Average sales price (2015): $324,643
Midtown was once a mostly commercial and business district but in recent years has become home to trendy families as well as individuals who are downsizing from larger homes. New Midtown residents are drawn to the area’s many new high rise condominiums as well as dining and nightlife options, some of the best and most cosmopolitan in the city. Midtown is also a huge cultural draw as the area is home to the High Museum of Art, Woodruff Arts Center, The Fox Theatre and Piedmont Park. Efforts are currently underway to create The Midtown Mile along Peachtree Street, a stretch of retail shops that is intended to rival those along Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Average sales price (2015): $847,302
Morningside was first developed in 1923 following the success of the Virginia Highland neighborhood to the south.7 Development of Virginia Highland began two decades earlier than Morningside when the Atlanta Streetway Rail Company extended a trolley line to the area from Five Points in downtown Atlanta.8 In fact, both neighborhoods were developed with the streetcar in mind. Morningside shares many similarities with Virginia Highland, including a preponderance of Tudor and bungalow style homes, small parks, and mini villages with restaurants and boutique shops. The shopping and bars in Virginia Highlands are decidedly more eclectic than Morningside, which has a popular farmer’s market and a 30-acre nature preserve.
Average sales price (2015): $770,836
Vinings is named for an engineer who came to the area on behalf of Western & Atlantic Railroad in the 1830s to build a railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee River.9 The community is known for its charming, Victorian-inspired village with boutique shops, fine restaurants and coffee houses. Vinings residents are attracted to the area by low Cobb County property taxes, proximity to Buckhead, the private schools there and the community’s overall small town feel.
1 | The Buckhead Coalition (www.buckhead.net)
2 | Buckhead Is…(www.buckheadis.com)
3 | Ansley Park Civic Association (http://www.ansleypark.org)
4 | Ansley Golf Club (www.ansleygolfclub.org)
5 | Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association (www.historicbrookhaven.org)
6 | National Park Service (www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/atlanta/dru.htm)
7 | Morningside/Lenox Park Association (www.mlpa.org)
8 | Virginia Highland Civic Association (www.vahi.org)
9 | Vinings Historic Preservation Society (vinings.org)
* The above information, including the map, may contain errors and omissions. The map is not to scale. Average sales prices based on sales of single family detached homes only. Source: FMLS