Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour - A Special Section, April 2024

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The Historic Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour is back April 26th - 28th, one of the community’s many Spring Celebration events. This year, the Tour celebrates “true stewards” of the beautiful Atlanta neighborhood that was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and nearly destroyed by a new highway. Tour goers will experience several once-blighted homes brought back to their former glory, even if they’re used a little differently than they once were. From stunning historic renovations to a new build that you’d think was original to the neighborhood, this year’s Tour is one you don’t want to miss.

1091 Springdale will be featured on this year's Tour. Photo by Jack Meyer

April 20, 5-9pm • Coca-Cola “Clean Up the Creek” Concert

The Sundogs headline this FREE concert on the big lawn in Emory Village

April 24 • Druid Hills Gala at Callanwolde

Dress up and celebrate our beautiful neighborhood! Enjoy live jazz with Joe Gransden Band, fantastic food & drinks in one of Atlanta’s most famous historic mansions.

April 26-28 • Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour Weekend • Friday 4/26, 1-5pm • Sat 4/27 & Sun 4/28, 10am-5pm

The Historic Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour is back and better than ever!

Our unique neighborhood, designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, was almost erased by the construction of a highway. Instead, the community fought fiercely to preserve and protect Druid Hills.

Even as it has evolved with the needs of today’s world, we are grateful that the spirit and soul of Olmsted’s original vision for our neighborhood are still thriving. This year’s Tour showcases 10 stunning examples of true Druid Hills stewardship, through clever adaptive reuse of original estate homes, meticulous restoration, and thoughtful realization of our neighborhood’s historic preservation guidelines in new construction.

We can’t wait to open the doors and garden gates for you!

1324 Ponce de Leon Avenue Lullwater Conservation Garden, 834 Lullwater Road 1108 Oakdale Road 1202 Springdale Road
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Gala & Tour Tickets
RoughDraftAtlanta.com APRIL 2024 | S3 971 Oakdale Road 1091 Springdale Road 865 Lullwater Parkway 794 Springdale Road 1609 South Ponce de Leon Avenue PLATINUM LEVEL GOLD LEVEL MEDIA PARTNERS THANK YOU TO OUR 2024 TOUR SPONSORS 3/26/24 11:18 AM

The Historic Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour is back, and this year our eleven featured properties tell the tale of a community that has fought to keep Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for the neighborhood intact. Even as the population of intown Atlanta grew, shrank, and then really took off, the spirit of Druid Hills continued to shine and is now brighter than ever.

Olmsted’s Vision

Olmsted, renowned landscape architect and designer of some of the country’s most famous parks and estates (think Central Park and The Biltmore), believed in the importance of open spaces for the health and well-being of urban residents. He incorporated this philosophy into his design for Druid Hills and aimed to seamlessly integrate natural landscapes with residential development. His plan called for winding roads and pathways that followed the contours of the land, rather than imposing a rigid grid pattern. Generous lot sizes were very intentional, to create a sense of openness and privacy for residents, while featuring gracefully landscaped views. The majestic tree canopy Druid Hills enjoys today is thanks to Mr. Olmsted. Once the neighborhood was established and gaining momentum, Druid Hills Civic Association (DHCA) was founded in 1938 to preserve it for residential use and to protect the unique heritage of the area.

carefully planned. That threat, along with economic changes, racial tensions, aging infrastructure, and governmental policies, led many of the residents to leave the neighborhood for newer suburbs. Some of the large homes they left behind were split up into apartments or became boarding houses, and others were simply abandoned.

But, we all know the happy ending for Druid Hills. Lots of enthusiastic residents stayed or found their way to historic homes they lovingly cared for. Many of them banded together, along with the DHCA, to fight the long fight against the highway. Thankfully, the “Roadbusters” prevailed, and the neighborhood remained intact.

More and more, prospective homeowners are drawn to the community, and aren’t afraid to tackle big projects that return the blighted homes back to their former glory - even if they’re used a little differently than they once were. Houses that are featured on this 56th year of the Historic Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour showcase what we call “true Druid Hills stewardship”.

The Fight for Druid Hills

Over the years, Druid Hills, like other intown Atlanta neighborhoods, shifted and adapted as housing needs and lifestyles changed. And, as with so many other cities across the United States during the mid-20th century, Druid Hills faced the threat of being divided by highway construction. The proposed I-485 would have cut right across the Olmsted Linear Parks and right through the heart of the idyllic neighborhood that Olmsted so

Protected by Preservation

Thankfully, in 1966 the National Historic Preservation Act was passed by Congress. Starting in 1975 with the “Ponce de Leon Parks and Parkway” listing, almost all of Druid Hills is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. From that jumpingoff point, the City of Atlanta instituted historic preservation protection for the Druid Hills Landmark District in 1989. DeKalb County created the protected Druid Hills Local Historic District in 1994. Our preservation guidelines foster Druid Hills' continued eclectic but cohesive appeal and respect the important role of green spaces.

Come see for yourself why people are drawn to Olmsted’s Druid Hills. The Tour runs Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28. Learn more at druidhillstour.org.

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Druid Hills, a neighborhood worth preserving
Boxwood Estate at 794 Springdale once served as a boarding house for young men. (Photo by Jeff Herr) 1324 Ponce de Leon, part of the Adair Estate, is an exceptional example of "adaptive reuse." (Photo by Marc Mauldin)
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Lullwater Conservation Garden featured on 2024 Tour

This year’s Historic Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour will showcase a very special neighborhood asset, the Lullwater Conservation Garden. The history of the conservation movement in the United States has its roots entwined with the creation of the Garden Club of America in 1913. In the wake of unbridled development expanding across the country, a group of forwardthinking women came together to rally around efforts to preserve the natural landscape. The Lullwater Garden Club joined their numbers in 1928.

rock. Coca-Cola, who is sponsoring this year’s “Clean Up the Creek Concert” in Emory Village on April 20th, has already graciously agreed to donate $10,000 to the Lullwater Garden Club. Druid Hills

The 5.21 acres of today’s garden originally belonged to the Dan Johnson Family and later the Candler estate. It has remained intact and cared for by the women of the Lullwater Garden Club since 1931, and in 1964, the Lullwater Garden Club officially purchased the garden from Emory University for $1,500. It is one of a small number of remaining old-growth forests in the country, recognized officially in 2017 by the Old-Growth Forest Network. Trees Atlanta has designated several of its trees Atlanta Champion Trees. In addition to its amazing trees, the garden features a waterfall, a bridge across Lullwater Creek, winding paths, stone benches, and bird and wildlife sanctuary. A 1938 Atlanta Journal article quoted Mrs. George H. Phillips, the conservation chair, on the intention “not to try to improve upon nature, but to add to the loveliness already there.”

This year's 2024 Druid Hills Spring Celebration will be drawing attention to the section of Lullwater Creek within the garden, where several sections of the creek's banks have washed out quite severely. The Lullwater Garden Club has plans to shore up some of these areas with heavy natural boulders and river

Civic Association has also approved a further grant of $5,000 to aid in this endeavor.

We hope you will join us in the many activities we have planned in and around the Lullwater Conservation Garden during our Tour weekend. As one of the featured stops on the Tour, volunteer docents will be on hand to share information about different features in the garden. Sign up to participate with your children in our “Habitat Helpers” events to add native plants to a new butterfly garden or create special fairy friends with natural elements from the garden.

The Lullwater Conservation Garden is open to the public year-round. Please join us to pay witness to the natural beauty of Lullwater Creek as it winds through virgin stands of old-growth oak, beech, and tulip poplar towering over a forest floor rich with native flora.

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Lullwater Conservation Garden, Photo by Jack Meyer
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South Fork Conservancy Leads Restoration of Creekbank in Emory Village

If you’ve ever enjoyed the South Fork Conservancy’s Duck Race during Emory Village’s Open Streets celebration, you know about Peavine Creek. But you may not know that this tiny gem of a creek is in big trouble. That’s because heavy rains have caused extensive erosion of the creek banks, dumping runoff into the creek, and setting up a cascade of events that are choking off its life.

The disrupted soil allows invasive plants, like the strangler vine kudzu, to proliferate. Consequently, access to the creek for maintenance is both difficult and treacherous, and mounds of trash and debris accumulate under the bridge at North Decatur Road. It doesn’t have to be this way.

With input from Druid Hills residents, the Conservancy came up with a plan to restore a portion of the creekbank to health so that Peavine becomes a natural amenity in the village and the crown jewel of the watershed that it serves. The plan calls for 1) stabilizing the creekbank in Emory Village near the Panera Restaurant to establish safe access for maintenance; 2) installing a trash trap and rain garden to slow down and absorb stormwater; 3) planting native trees and plants; and 4) building an overlook so that people can appreciate the treasure that Peavine is.

As a part of last April’s Druid Hills Spring Celebration, Emory Village Alliance and South Fork Conservancy raised awareness around this project with their Coca-Cola Clean Up the Creek Concert, held in Emory Village. The Coca Cola Company, Hammersmith, the Druid Hills Civic Association, and other donors financed the initial phase of this project that produced engineering and planning documents and a topographical survey of the area. The survey includes an inventory of existing trees, land contours, and drainage patterns. It also confirmed limitations, such as easements, setbacks, and waterway restrictions, that govern how this area could be managed.

Most recently, a design team comprising engineers, analysts, landscape architects, regulatory officials, and volunteer advocates required permits. The next step is an engineering analysis of a “no-rise” certificate to confirm that implementing the plan will not adversely affect the floodway.

To make the plan a reality will require additional funding of about $40,000 from local businesses and all those in the community interested in preserving, protecting, and enjoying this precious natural resource for years to come. If you would like to donate to this project, please contact the Conservancy’s Executive Director, Kimberly Estep, at kimberly@southforkconservancy.org.

Lullwater Creek in Focus for 2024

This year's 2024 Druid Hills Spring Celebration will be drawing attention to an upstream section of Peavine Creek, Lullwater Creek within Lullwater Conservation Garden, where several sections of the creek's banks have washed out quite severely. The Lullwater Garden Club has plans to shore up some of these areas with heavy natural boulders and river rock. Coca-Cola, who is sponsoring this year’s “Clean Up the Creek Concert” in Emory Village on April 20th, has already graciously agreed to donate $10,000 to the Lullwater Garden Club. Druid Hills Civic Association has also approved a further grant of $5,000 to aid in this endeavor.

The Lullwater Conservation Garden will be one of the outstanding stops on this year’s Historic Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour, April 26th-28th. Docents will be on site to guide you as you pay witness to the natural beauty of Lullwater Creek as it winds through virgin stands of Old Growth Oak, Beech, and Tulip Poplar towering over

a forest floor rich with native flora. Plan to join us in the many activities we will host in and around the Lullwater Conservation Garden over the Tour weekend. Visit druidhillstour.org for a full list of Spring Celebration events.

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Lullwater Creek, Photo by Jack Meyer

Coca-Cola ‘Clean Up The Creek Concert’ is April 20

Join in the Druid Hills Spring Celebration, once again! Local favorite, The Sundogs, will headline the FREE "Coca-Cola Clean Up the Creek" concert on the lawn in Emory Village on Saturday, April 20th from 5-9pm. Brothers Lee and Will Haraway formed The Sundogs in Atlanta in the early 2000s and quickly earned attention for the melodic Americana rock and roll sound of their records and especially for their highenergy live shows. Gus’ Spaghetti Junction,

a neighborhood favorite, will be the opening band.

Gather friends & family, your low chairs & blankets, and see you on the lawn at Oxford & North Decatur Roads. You can grab food and drinks from the newly opened Savi Market or from other local vendors. Produced by Emory Village Alliance, VIP tables with seating for four cost $150 and include complimentary wine and other merch. Learn more at emoryvillage.org

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The Sundogs, photo by Ian Rawns Photography

MAY 2, 2024

7:30 – 10 PM

The Tasting Experience is an expanded event now supporting the entire nonsectarian Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Services of JF&CS. Through these incredible programs, clients learn new life skills, gain more confidence, become more independent, and most importantly, build community. Programs include the Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program, Community Access Group, and Supported Employment, providing support to clients, families, and caregivers.



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