Neighborhood News

Published on February 11th, 2015 |

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Buckhead Forest listed in National Register of Historic Places

The Alberta Drive-Mathieson Drive-West Shadowlawn Avenue Historic District of Buckhead, now commonly known as the Buckhead Forest neighborhood, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 27, according to the Buckhead Heritage Society, which was instrumental in helping achieve the designation.

A signpost in Buckhead Forest neighborhood.

A signpost in Buckhead Forest neighborhood.

The district encompasses a neighborhood which is located within the densely-developed triangle of land bounded by the busy thoroughfares of Peachtree, Piedmont and Roswell roads.

The National Register of Historic Places is our country’s official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. The National Register provides formal recognition of a property’s architectural, historical, or archaeological significance.
It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes and insures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects.

Thre nerighbood association's logo

Thre nerighbood association’s logo

National Register listing encourages preservation of historic properties through public awareness, federal and state tax incentives, and grants. However, listing in the National Register does not place obligations or restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property.

In 1907 the Georgia Railway and Electric Company extended its trolley line from downtown Atlanta along Peachtree Road, north to Buckhead and into largely undeveloped land. This spurred a building boom which included the Alberta Drive-Mathieson Drive-West Shadowlawn Avenue Historic District.

Developed as four separate subdivisions between 1911 and 1945, the earliest development in the district reflects the characteristics of a streetcar suburb, while the later development reflects the influence of the automobile.

With its rolling topography, curvilinear streets, and development pattern of sizable lots with homes set back from the street, the neighborhood still

Map shows location of the Buckhead Forest neighborhood.

Map shows location of the Buckhead Forest neighborhood.

today articulates a “park-like setting,” the predominant national trend in early 20th-century suburban development.

The district contains an intact collection of house types and styles popular with the middle-class throughout Georgia from the 1910s through the 1960s. They include bungalows, English Cottages, American Small Houses, and ranch houses.

One of the styles of homes in the historic district

One of the styles of homes in the historic district

Stylistic influences in the district include English Vernacular Revival, French Vernacular Revival, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and Contemporary. Houses are generally small and overwhelmingly one-story.

While a handful of high-style examples are present, the majority of the district’s houses exhibit only elements of their relevant style. The design of at least one house in the neighborhood can be credited to the plan books of Leila Ross Wilburn, a pioneer female architect well-known for her residential work in Atlanta during the early 20th century.

While some houses have contemporary additions, these are typically on the rear, and the majority of the district’s houses retain their intact tightly-massed footprint.

The district also includes three mid-20th-century apartment buildings, reflecting the evolution of the Buckhead community from largely undeveloped land to a high-density mixed-use area.

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