Monthly Archives: November 2014

Ruined Decatur

I … believe that some of the new construction has been insensitive to the diversity and historic nature of our neighborhood. In the end, I think we will look back at the period between 2005 – 2015 and point to Oakhurst as a place of poor planning and development — Oakhurst resident, April 9, 2012.

UrbanHomesteadAdThis site began as a place for curated photos of teardowns and mansionization in Decatur, Georgia’s Oakhurst neighborhood. The project began on an autumn day in 2011 when I watched a construction crew deconstruct a small home on East Lake Drive. I subsequently learned that the home had belonged to a former “urban homesteader”: a woman who paid $1 for the home during a bold 1970s experiment in neighborhood revitalization.

Three years and about 100 houses later, this site has run its course. There will be no additional entries but the posts will remain live as evidence for the poor planning and development described in the epigraph.

Oakhurst-collage

And now for some numbers. The average construction year for homes demolished for new construction (teardowns) was calculated along with the average areas of the teardowns and new construction single family residences (including infill). Excluded are multi-family properties (e.g., apartments on Fayetteville Road and Oakview Road) demolished prior to new construction. The data are incomplete; thirty new homes are under construction as of this writing and their areas have not been recorded in DeKalb County or Decatur public records. The results are:

  • Average teardown construction year: 1937
  • Average teardown area (square feet): 1,283
  • Average new home area (square feet): 2,906

Is Decatur is ruined? That question is best answered by the people who live there. This blog is now finished.

2011-10-19-57

The remains of a former urban homesteading house demolished October 2011.

David Rotenstein, November 2014.

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111 Fayetteville Rd.

111 Fayetteville Rd. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

111 Fayetteville Rd. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

111 Fayetteville Road, August 2014.

111 Fayetteville Road, August 2014.

111 Fayetteville Road, November 2014.

111 Fayetteville Road, November 2014.

111 Fayetteville Rd., May 2015.

111 Fayetteville Rd., May 2015.