590 Collier Ridge Dr- Mid Century Atlanta 

Our hearts gush over this Mid Century Modern home in Historic Collier Heights…a community deep with African American history filled with pride for the many professionals who helped established it during a time of struggle. 

This 3bed 2bath home on a basement with double fireplace, 3 exterior patio areas and sunken livingroom is being released and on the hunt for a new owner to restore. 

List price $110,000 – with just a few upgrades needed to restore this gem. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
  
    
   
 

Historic Howell Station

Knight Park-Howell Station, also known as Howell Station Historic District or Knight Park Historic District, is a Historic neighborhood in West Midtown Atlanta. Almost all buildings in the area were destroyed in the American Civil War in Sherman’s March to the Sea.

Read all about the history on their site: Howell Station Neighborhood Association .  This active neighborhood association also offers its members a “Rewards Card” to obtain discounts to many local businesses. What a way to keep the shopping locally!  *smart*

You can also see them on Facebook  meet your potential neighbors and read the latest community discussions.

I am enjoying the mixture of old and new homes, each with its own charm- and price tag! I’ve seen listings as low as $60K and as high as $325K.

Historic Washington Park

2001 Built Home on Lena Street; "Savannah At Washington Park"  During a revitalization phase
2001 Built Home on Lena Street; ” Savannah At Washington Park” During a revitalization phase

Driving past Ashby Street train station will either leave you with a sense of “Hide your kids, Lock your doors”  or it can leave you a bit curious about how this great community appears to be blighted from their major corridor.  The park right besides the train would be welcoming to travelers- if you can excuse yourself to a seat besides the men/women sleeping on them.  But, not only am I guilty of not visiting this park in the past 3years, I’m also guilty of just driving by and shaking my head.  Historic Washington Park has a rich history that will inspire most; we just need to explore and find out more about it without  fear and ignoring the stereotype.

So here it is, information from my favorite source, Wiki:

Washington Park is a historically black neighborhood in northwest Atlanta encompassing historic residential, commercial, and community landmark buildings. It is situated two miles (3 km) west of the central business district of Atlanta. The combination of gridiron and curvilinear streets is a result of the neighborhood having been developed from four separate subdivision plats. One of these plats created Atlanta’s first planned black neighborhood, while the other three were abandoned by white developers and adopted by *Heman Perry, an early 20th-century black developer. Although Perry did not receive a formal education past the seventh grade, in 1913 he founded one of the largest black-owned companies in the United States, the Standard Life Insurance Company of Atlanta.

The development of the Washington Park area is associated with the history of racial segregation in Atlanta. Prior to 1919, Ashby Street functioned as an early “color line” in the city. The area east of Ashby Street was established as an area for African Americans, and the area west of Ashby Street was established as an area for white settlement. Few white families were interested in residing so close to the historically black Atlanta University campus. Any plans for white settlement west of Ashby Street ended when the general manager of the Parks Department of Atlanta designated Washington Park as the first recreational park for African Americans in 1919. The Atlanta Board of Education re-designated Ashby Street School from white to black in that same year. With these two actions, the area west of Ashby Street was abandoned by white developers and this early “color line” was broken.

The collection of historic residences within the district consists of one- and two-story buildings built between 1919 and 1958 featuring exterior wood clapboard or brick veneer. These close-knit residences are fairly uniformly set back near the street-end of their narrow lots. The architectural types represented within the district include English and Georgian cottages, Georgian, American Foursquare, and the bungalow, the most commonly found type. The architectural styles found include Colonial Revival, English Vernacular, and Craftsman, which is the style most widely represented. There were few commercial buildings located within the Washington Park neighborhood, historically concentrated near the edges of the district at the crossroads of major streets, but many of these stores have been lost or altered. A c. 1930 gas station featuring an office block with a canopy remains, as well as a corner store with a large storefront window oriented towards the intersection. Community landmarks include the William A. Harris Memorial Hospital, the Ashby Street Theater, the Citizen Trust Company West Side Branch bank building, and the E.R. Carter Elementary School (formerly Ashby Street School)

One of the focal points of the historic district is the recreational park. Prior to the construction of Washington Park in 1919, there were no recreational parks in Atlanta available to African Americans. The park started with a gift of six and a half acres and expanded to 25 acres (100,000 m2) when completed in 1928. It originally included a swimming pool, dance hall, pavilions, and tennis courts. The Washington Park neighborhood has retained many of its landscape features; however, mass transportation projects, modern residential construction and subsidized housing development have caused the loss of some historic fabric.

More info on Washington Park on Yelp!

Who lives here: Joel Alvarado (Legislative Director for Dekalb County) , Jibari Simama (President of  Georgia Piedmont Technical College)

Hot places to visit here: Tea Cakes Bed & Breakfast

Things to do here:Visit the Natatorium and Tennis Center 1125 Lena Street . I was  nicely surprised when visiting the Natatorium on Ollie Street a few years ago. It was amazing -clean (warm-as I can not take the cold) and empty.

Schools I Love here: KIPP WAYS !!

Homes for sale here and near: Trulia (my website will be complete soon,then  bye-bye Trulia) 🙂

 

*Heman Edward Perry

The leading black entrepreneur was Heman Edward Perry, who developed major black business enterprises in segregated Atlanta during the first quarter of the 20th century. Perry arrived in Atlanta in 1908 after learning the insurance business in New York. He perceived that there were great possibilities for insurance sales in the black community. Perry quickly began an effort to raise funds to finance his Standard Life Insurance Company, which was state-chartered in 1913. This company proved profitable and Perry began to expand into other commercial enterprises, which included banking, printing, and construction. Through these enterprises, Perry initiated a substantial part of the business foundation of the modern black community in Atlanta. Even his subsequent failures did not diminish his major impact in broadening black enterprise and pride in Atlanta

 

Can you see it?

I never noticed this but I will be sure to check the next time I’m in Capitol View Manor. It is said this small community was named for its excellent view of the Georgia State Capitol building.

What I did notice, were all the like-kind brick Bungalows, Cape Cods and Victorians.  There is something about being next to homes similar in style (but not exactly alike) that appeal to me. I find it easier to determine values and desirability.(Maybe it’s also  just my personal hang up- consistency is key.)

As per Wiki:

Capitol View Manor was originally vast farmland owned by a select group of people that included John Shannon and the Deckner Family. During the early 1910s, many people started to settle in the area, and, in 1912, the area known as Capitol View was annexed to the City of Atlanta. This is when many utilities, including sewage and electricity, came to the area. In 1920, Capitol View Manor was established, and more houses started to be built on the eastern side of Stewart Avenue. Five years later, Capitol View Manor was annexed to the City of Atlanta. Most of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the next twenty years. In addition, the Capitol View School was built in 1929.

Most of the homes in Capitol View Manor were built between the early 1920s and the mid 1940s. Capitol View Manor was originally developed by the same developer of the Morningside and Virginia Highland neighborhood (WOW- I KNEW they looked familiar!) . Homes in the neighborhood are some of the most affordable in the entire city for their quality.

……………..So, you mean the $29,000 home on Shannon Dr. was actually a $250,000 Virgina Highland and Morningside home?  Hummm.  I think if more people could actually understand this, and the value of a home- more owner occupants would be borrowing against or cashing in their 401K and  running to buy these gems in Southwest Atlanta.

For more information on the Capitol View Manor community, take a look at their facebook page HERE

Did you know:  There is a 102 year old home on Deckner?  It’s a landmark and the old Deckner Family house.  This is on my “to-do” list for the week, drive by and look for  this home, anyone know the address?

The day after Thanksgiving…

for many, is shopping day!   While the malls are over crowed and filled with grouchy stuffed people, I would opt for a more relaxed environment and head to the Westside Provisions.  If you like Modern Classics, the Westside is THE BEST location in Atlanta. 

Westside Provisions is a mixed use neighborhood located in West Midtown Atlanta, anchored by a large Room& Board furniture store.   A deal sends many scurrying about from store to store not wanting to miss that item on their list, but when you want a break from the noise and pushing stop by Room& Board. I guarantee, your entire disposition will change (and wish list will increase).  The atmosphere is always serene and calm, almost forcing you to whisper.  I love this place and usually get great seasonal deals from the back “clearance section” (which is limited in product and not clearly identifiable) but it’s right near the rugs and pillows.  I know the items may seem a bit pricey but if you are a person who is buying for a lifetime (or potential future resale when you redecorate) these items hold value, their quality and craftmanship is for a lifetime and that  one item can add a bit of sophistication to any room.

Here’s a list of a few other great shops:

Anthropologie

An inspiring place to shop for Women’s clothing, accessories, and home decor.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Saturday 10am-7pm. Sunday 12pm-5pm.
Phone: 404.355.4889

Bungalow Classic

Timeless home decor
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Saturday 10am-6pm.
Phone: 404.351.9120

Environment Furniture

Where casual sophistication meets sustainability
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday – Saturday 11am-7pm. Sunday 12pm-5pm. Monday – Tuesday – By Appointment.
Phone: 404.815.1488

FLOR

Redefine any space by mixing and matching FLOR styles to create custom rugs, runners and wall-to-wall designs
Hours of Operation:
Monday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m, Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 404.685.1601, Fax 404.685.1603.

Jonathan Adler

Putting the grooviness back into home decor
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Saturday 10am – 6:30pm. Sun CLOSED
404.367.0414

Knoll

Iconic design, open to the trade only
Phone:404.522.1835

For more on shops and dining see here: Westside Provisions Shops

“the City Too Busy to Hate”

Sometimes remembering hurts but it’s always good to know how far we’ve come. I found the history of Cascade Heights to be bitter-sweet, as what occurred was not very long ago. As per Wikipedia:

Cascade Heights is an affluent predominantly African-American neighborhood in southwest Atlanta. Along with Sandtown and other portions of unincorporated South Fulton County, the area has a reputation as having a high concentration of the African-American elite in the city.

Cascade Heights, or simply Cascade, can refer to a large area that is bound by I-20, on the north, I-285 on the west, South Utoy Creek on the south, and the Adams Park and Beecher Hills neighborhoods to the east. By this definition, this area also includes neighborhoods such as Peyton Forest, West Manor, and Mangum Manor to name a few. This situation can be paralleled to Midtown’s role in Northeast Atlanta; each neighborhood is separate and distinct but the area is still known by one generic name.

Here’s the interesting part:

In the early 1960s the area was a predominantly white neighborhood. After an African-American physician bought a home in Peyton Forest, white residents in the area feared that their neighborhood would become a victim of blockbusting,a business practice in which real estate agents would profit from the racial fears of white residents while changing the racial makeup of a white residential area.

Stop here.

Now, let’s not go on a Real Estate Agent bashing session, these were ignorant greedy people who happen to be agents and making their fortune from playing on the fears of their people (as they were also White). Every culture and race  have a few evil, greedy self-serving people. I remember reading how some Blacks sold other Blacks into slavery (another crazy history lesson for another day…)

Continue:

“When African-Americans moved in to a neighborhood, their presence resulted in lower residential property values because many whites considered an integrated neighborhood to be undesirable. Real estate agents stirred up racial tension and benefited from the commissions they earned when fearful homeowners sold their properties, often at a loss, in order to escape the area.”

But are you kidding me? I understand greedy sales people, but et tu brute– Mayor? —- Read on! 

“In a 1962–1963 episode that came to be called “the Peyton Road affair”, Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen responded to residents’ fears of blockbusting by directing city staff to erect barricades on Peyton Road and Harlan Road to restrict access to Cascade Heights, thus preventing African-American home seekers from getting to the neighborhood from Gordon Road. He took the action at the urging of white residents of southwest Atlanta(in particular, one of his high-level employees who lived a short distance from Peyton Road). After the barricades went up, December 18, 1962,the incident quickly drew national attention. The barrier was compared to the Berlin Wall and nicknamed the “Atlanta wall”. Some newspapers in other parts of the country questioned Atlanta’s motto “the City Too Busy to Hate.” The walls were torn down when, on March 1, 1963, a court ruled them to be unconstitutional.

This event is considered to have helped spur the growth and prominence of Collier Heights, the first affluent community in the nation built by and for African-Americans.”

Whoa! DRAMA- can you imagine living through that?  I can’t, – just thinking,  my mother was alive during this time. Thank God for growth and progress. I  must constantly  remind myself-this was a different time, a different world and that maybe the Mayor did what he thought was best for the overall good??? (I was not there so….)

Notable residents of Cascade Heights include: former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, baseball legend Hank Aaron, former UN Ambassador and mayor of Atlanta Andrew Young, and past national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and founding member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Ozell Sutton, Dr. Howard W. Grant, current Executive Director/Administrator of the Atlanta Board of Education, and Kandi Burruss, singer/songwriter, record producer, and cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta ( Kandi recently bought a new house in a Cascade gated community-Go Kandi!!)

Today, what’s sad are the home values. Cascade Heights was hit  hard in the bust. The wonderful Veltre Estates still has a sign at the corner of Cascade  and  Veltre Circle.  During their development, I knew these would be a treat in Cascade Heights, with only 24home sites!  I found the quality of this builders to be like none other, in a time when everyone under the sun was building out Cascade and Camp Creek.  Throwing up homes in a month, on lots too close for anyone. Jones & Minear Homebuilders left no stone unturned when it came to the details.

Unfortunately home sales went from $599K down to $355K  last in 2011; what an amazing deal on these estates of 5 Bedrooms, 3sides brick and 3 car garage  homes.  This may be a great area to keep an eye on for a future short sale.

Here’s an old sales website– see how drastically they were reduced…

No worries, Cascade Heights will rebound. It’s a perfect location- perfect for those wanting to live close to the city, but maybe a bit tired of living in a really urban area.  The land is cheap enough for investors to purchase and rebuild new construction-although, to really have an impact on value the builder will need to do more than a few homes. I love the look of the older homes on Boulevard Granada and Boulevard Lorraine, but I can picture many new single family homes on these streets similar to what was done in Washington Park, since there are a few without character. – Don’t sleep on Cascade Heights- a good investment area!

Have you heard of Midwest Cascade?

Most will know it just as  “Cascade”  or “New Hope Road area”- maybe even “Niskey Lake area”..but this is Midwest Cascade. Midwest Cascade is located south of Cascade Road, along Regency Center Drive

The Atlanta City Council voted to annex Midwest Cascade to the City of Atlanta on September 29, 2006. See HERE . This area is said to be the fastest growing NPU(NPU-Q) from 2000-2010, I’m sure most of the growth was during the housing boom in the early years of 2000 as much of the new construction was during this time and started to top off in 2006.

What’ the housing stock in this area? Varied, from newer (now old) McMansions to brick ranch homes on the lake!  This area is a nice surprise in Cascade, few know about it and once shown,  you’ll consider buying here! Many of the new subdivision are gated- which provides much privacy for the owners but not a lot of sight-seeing for those who love practicing  HGTV’s House Hunters. Even the foreclosures maybe hard to get into, without a code (and pre-qual) many agents will pass.  These communities seem to remain privy to the “who you know”  BUT beautiful Niskey Lake is open for all to tour, explore and hold-on-to-your-seat as you turn the sharp curves towards the lake.  Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that may of these homes on the lake seem to have water issues in their basements…I’m not sure if it’s water from the lake, due to poor development or age.  Nonetheless, if you can repair- you will be very proud when giving directions to your house-warming!

Have you seen this 7,700sq feet gem! 4030 ANNECY DRIVE FMLS #5001433 – this amazing 3 level  home boasts 6bedrooms 5full baths and 2 half baths, 3 car garage, in ground pool,theater room and much more  for under $1Million… compare this to intown Atlanta….enough said-this is a deal!!