Tag Archives: Oakhurst

265 Maxwell Street

Another Edgemoor home built in 1940 by the Newbold Development Company.

265 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

265 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

265 Maxwell St. February 9, 2014.

265 Maxwell St. being prepped for teardown February 9, 2014.

265 Maxwell St. February 9, 2014.

265 Maxwell St. being prepped for teardown February 9, 2014.

265-maxwell-2014-02-26

265 Maxwell St. Demolished Feb. 24-26, 2014.

265 Maxwell Street, June 2014.

265 Maxwell Street, June 2014.

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712-724 Oakview Road (Chateau Daisy)

Chateau Daisy apartments. Curiously, the City of Decatur’s consultants who prepared the 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey included this property which is physically located in Southwest Decatur — Oakhurst — in what they called the “Southeast Decatur Survey Area.” Although the property appears in the consultant’s maps, there does not appear to be a corresponding survey form documenting the property in the final version of the survey posted at the City’s website..

Chateau Daisy apartments. 712-724 Oakview Road. July 9, 2013.

Chateau Daisy apartments. 712-724 Oakview Road. July 9, 2013.

Chateau Daisy apartments. 712-724 Oakview Road. July 9, 2013.

Chateau Daisy apartments. 712-724 Oakview Road. July 9, 2013.

Chateau Daisy, pre-demolition. February 2014.

Chateau Daisy, pre-demolition. February 9, 2014.

Chateau Daisy, demolition underway, Feb. 26, 2014.

Chateau Daisy, demolition underway, Feb. 26, 2014.

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351 Greenwood Ave.

351 Greenwood Dr. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

351 Greenwood Ave. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

351 Greenwood. December 2013.

351 Greenwood. December 2013.

112 Evans Dr.

112 Evans Dr. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

112 Evans Dr. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

112 Evans Dr. Ansley St. facade, Dec. 2013.

112 Evans Dr. Ansley St. facade, Dec. 2013.

112 Evans Dr. December 2013.

112 Evans Dr. December 2013.

247 Maxwell Street

247 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

247 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

247 Maxwell Street. Demolished Nov.-Dec. 2013.

247 Maxwell Street. Demolished Nov.-Dec. 2013.

247 Maxwell Street, June 2014.

247 Maxwell Street, June 2014.

241 Maxwell Street

241 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

241 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

241 Maxwell Street. Demolished Nov.-Dec. 2013

241 Maxwell Street. Demolished Nov.-Dec. 2013

241 Maxwell St. May 11, 2014.

241 Maxwell St. May 11, 2014.

Read more about the baronial brick manse that will replace the home demolished here:

“A worthy demo sacrifice” — Clay Chapman, Decatur builder.

The “1,000 Year House” nears completion. This 5,300 square-foot “sustainable” building has consumed more than 100,000 bricks, 124,000 pounds of concrete, and an unspecified number of tons of slate roofing shingles. All of the new building materials required energy to extract, process, and transport the raw materials: brick clay, slate, granite (lintels), and concrete.

241 Maxwell St., August 2014.

241 Maxwell St., August 2014.

241 Maxwell St., August 2014.

241 Maxwell St., August 2014.

And the clock is ticking: 999 years left and counting …

241 Maxwell St. May 2015.

241 Maxwell St. May 2015.

241 Maxwell St. May 2015.

241 Maxwell St. May 2015.

Hope for Architecture 2 axonometric rendering. Credit: http://hopeforarchitecture.com/projects/

Hope for Architecture 2 axonometric rendering. Credit: http://hopeforarchitecture.com/projects/

624 McKoy Street

624 McKoy Street, Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

624 McKoy Street, Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

624 McKoy Street. December 2013.

624 McKoy Street. December 2013.

229 McKoy Street

229 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

229 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

229 McKoy Street. Demolished Nov.-Dec. 2013.

229 McKoy Street. Demolished Nov.-Dec. 2013.

229 McKoy St. May 11, 2014.

229 McKoy St. May 11, 2014.

316 East Lake Drive

316 East Lake Drive. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

316 East Lake Drive. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

316 East Lake Drive. November 2013. Earlier home demolished earlier in 2013.

316 East Lake Drive. November 2013. Earlier home demolished earlier in 2013.

An Oakhurst resident wrote to me about this property inquiring about a zoning variance hearing to be held Nov. 11, 2013 — one week after this photo was taken. The BZA variance application (final item in agenda materials) shows that the builder wants to receive setback variances for all lot sides.

316 East lake Drive, proposed elevation drawing for new home. Credit: City of Decatur BZA Agenda, Nov. 11, 2013.

316 East Lake Drive, proposed elevation drawing for new home. Credit: City of Decatur BZA Agenda packet, Nov. 11, 2013.

316 East Lake Dr. July 8, 2014.

The plywood palace at 316 East Lake Dr. as it appeared on July 8, 2014.

Oakhurst Neighborhood Association Facebook post about 316 East Lake Dr. property conditions. July 9, 2014.

Oakhurst Neighborhood Association Facebook post about 316 East Lake Dr. property conditions. July 9, 2014.

The partially constructed new house was deconstructed in early August 2014.

Comment posted to Decatur Metro, Aug. 8, 2014. Screen capture Aug. 11, 2014. Credit: Decatur Metro.

Comment posted to Decatur Metro, Aug. 8, 2014. Screen capture Aug. 11, 2014. Credit: Decatur Metro.

316 East Lake Dr.: Deconstructed new home, August 11, 2014.

316 East Lake Dr.: Deconstructed new home, August 11, 2014.

316 East Lake Dr.: Deconstructed new home, August 11, 2014.

316 East Lake Dr.: Deconstructed new home, August 11, 2014.

316 East Lake Dr., Sept. 4, 2014. Looks like construction is about to begin on the third house on this lot in the past year.

316 East Lake Dr., Sept. 4, 2014. Looks like construction is about to begin on the third house on this lot in the past year.

316 East Lake Dr. New home completed, May 2015.

316 East Lake Dr. New home completed, May 2015.

324 Fayetteville Rd.

324 Fayetteville Road. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Suvey.

324 Fayetteville Road. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

324 Fayetteville Road, August 2013.

324 Fayetteville Road, August 2013.

324 Fayetteville Rd. Demolished Feb. 29, 2014.

324 Fayetteville Rd. Demolished Feb. 28, 2014.

324 Fayetteville Road, March 19, 2014.

324 Fayetteville Road, March 19, 2014.

 

Credit: "Is The Decatur Area Losing Its Prized Affordability?" Curbed Atlanta, Aug. 14, 2013.

Credit: “Is The Decatur Area Losing Its Prized Affordability?” Curbed Atlanta, Aug. 14, 2013.

197 Feld Ave.

197 Feld Ave.. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

197 Feld Ave.. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

197 Feld. October 2013.

197 Feld. October 2013.

 

25 Spring Street

25 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

25 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

25 Spring Street. October 2013.

25 Spring Street. October 2013.

Builder's website ad for the lot (house still standing). Credit: Arlene Dean Quality Homes.

Builder’s website ad for the lot (house still standing). Credit: Arlene Dean Quality Homes.

25 Spring Street. Demolished Feb. 11, 2014.

25 Spring Street. Demolished Feb. 11, 2014.

25 Spring Street. Demolished Feb. 11, 2014.

25 Spring Street. Demolished Feb. 11, 2014.

 

560 McKoy Street

560 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

560 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

560 McKoy Street, August 2013.

560 McKoy Street, August 2013.

560 McKoy Street. October, 2013.

560 McKoy Street. October, 2013.

 

560 McKoy Street. October, 2013.

560 McKoy Street. October, 2013.

836 Third Ave.

836 Third Ave. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

836 Third Ave. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

836 Third Ave., October 2013.

836 Third Ave., October 2013.

836 Third Ave., October 2013.

836 Third Ave., October 2013.

257 Madison Ave.

257 Madison Ave. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

257 Madison Ave. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

257 Madison Ave. Oct. 2013.

257 Madison Ave. Oct. 2013.

104 Spring Street

104 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

104 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

104 Spring Street, October 2013.

104 Spring Street, October 2013.

 

245 Madison Avenue

245 Madison Ave., 2009. Credit: Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

245 Madison Ave., 2009. Credit: Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

245 Madison Ave. August 2013.

245 Madison Ave. August 2013.

245 Madison Ave. Demolished Sept. or Oct., 2013.

245 Madison Ave. Demolished Sept. or Oct., 2013.

245 Madison Ave. new home rendering. Credit: Stoney River Homes.

245 Madison Ave. new home rendering. Credit: Stoney River Homes.

362 Greenwood Ave.

This property was one of the 113 “dollar homes” the City of Decatur sold between 1975 and 1982 in the Urban Homesteading Demonstration Program. Decatur was the smallest of the original 23 pilot cities to participate in the program and Oakhurst, then known as South Decatur, the city’s urban homesteading neighborhood.

362 Greenwood Ave. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

362 Greenwood Ave. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

362 Greenwood Ave. being prepped for teardown, September 2013

362 Greenwood Ave. being prepped for teardown, September 2013.

362 Greenwood Ave. Demolished October 2013.

362 Greenwood Ave. Demolished October 2013.

362 Greenwood Ave. Demolished October 2013.

362 Greenwood Ave. Demolished October 2013.

362 Greenwood Dr. December 2013.

362 Greenwood Dr. December 2013.

 

362 Greenwood Ave., new home rendering. Credit: Thrive Homes LLC, http://www.buildwiththrive.com/properties/view/111

362 Greenwood Ave., new home rendering. Credit: Thrive Homes, http://www.buildwiththrive.com/properties/view/111

226 Maxwell Street

One of Decatur’s Urban Homesteading Demonstration Program homes. Sold in 1980 for $1.00, this home was one of a handful out of the 113 urban homesteading sites photographed by the Decatur Housing Authority for its reports and program public relations materials.

226 Maxwell Street, c. 1976-1980 prior to rehabilitation. Credit: Decatur Housing Authority.

226 Maxwell Street, c. 1976-1980 prior to rehabilitation. Credit: Decatur Housing Authority.

226 Maxwell Street, c. 1980-1981 after rehabilitation. Credit: Decatur Housing Authority.

226 Maxwell Street, c. 1980-1981 after rehabilitation. Credit: Decatur Housing Authority.

This property was sold in 2013 and subsequently altered.

226 Maxwell Street, 2009. Credit: Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

226 Maxwell Street, 2009. Credit: Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

226 Maxwell Street, April 2012.

226 Maxwell Street, April 2012.

226-Maxwell-2013-08

226 Maxwell Street, 2013 alterations in progress.

311 West Benson Street

311 West Benson Street. Demolished mid-2013. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey

311 West Benson Street. Demolished mid-2013. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey

311 West Benson Street. August 2013.

311 West Benson Street. August 2013.

311-west-bension-builder

203 McKoy Street

203 McKoy Street. Demolished mid-2013. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

203 McKoy Street. Demolished mid-2013. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

203 McKoy Street. August 2013.

203 McKoy Street. August 2013.

1423 Oakview Road

1423 Oakview Road. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

1423 Oakview Road. Demolished mid-2013. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

1423 Oakview Road. August 2013.

1423 Oakview Road. August 2013.

1423 Oakview Road (under construction, middle). August 2013.

1423 Oakview Road (under construction, middle). August 2013.

 

323 Fayetteville Road

323 Fayetteville Road. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

323 Fayetteville Road. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

323 Fayetteville Road. July 9, 2013.

323 Fayetteville Road. July 9, 2013.

184 Mead Road

184 Mead Road. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

184 Mead Road. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

184 Mead Road. July 9, 2013.

184 Mead Road. July 9, 2013.

184 Mead Rd. July 2014.

184 Mead Rd. July 2014.

184 Mead Rd. May 2015.

184 Mead Rd. May 2015.

184 Mead Rd. May 2015.

184 Mead Rd. May 2015.

156 Feld Ave.

Another former Urban Homesteading Demonstration Program “dollar house.”

156 Feld Ave. Credit: 2009 Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

156 Feld Ave. Credit: 2009 Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

156 Feld Ave. June 26, 2013.

156 Feld Ave. June 26, 2013.

156 Feld Ave. October 2013.

156 Feld Ave. October 2013.

 

208 Maxwell Street

Demolished April 2013.

208 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

208 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

208 Maxwell Street, April 24, 2013.

208 Maxwell Street, April 24, 2013.

215 West Hill Street

Demolished late 2012-early 2103

215 West Hill Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

215 West Hill Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

215 West Hill Street. April 24, 2013.

215 West Hill Street. April 24, 2013.

217 West Hill Street

Demolished early 2013

217 West Hill Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

217 West Hill Street. Credit: 2009 Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

217 West Hill Street. April 24, 2013.

217 West Hill Street. April 24, 2013.

27 Spring Street

27 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 Decatur citywide historic resources survey.

27 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 Decatur citywide historic resources survey.

27 Spring Street. January 7, 2013.

27 Spring Street. January 7, 2013.

27 Spring Street. March 4, 2013. House demolished February 2013.

27 Spring Street. March 4, 2013. House demolished February 2013.

 

1307 Oakview Road

1307 Oakview Road. Credit" 2009 Decatur citywide historic resources survey.

1307 Oakview Road. Credit: 2009 Decatur citywide historic resources survey.

1307 Oakview Road. one-story home demolished end of 2012. This home completed in January 2013. January 7, 2013.

1307 Oakview Road. One-story home demolished end of 2012. This home completed in January 2013. January 7, 2013.

1419 Oakview Road

1419 Oakview Road. Credit: 2009 citywide historic resources survey.

1419 Oakview Road. Credit: 2009 citywide historic resources survey.

1419 Oakview Road. House demolished December 2012. Photo January 3, 2013.

1419 Oakview Road. House demolished December 2012. Photo January 3, 2013.

 

Streetscape

Viewing hints: Select HD under the gear icon and crank your speakers. Remove the Google ad by clicking in its upper right hand corner. (Ads come with YouTube soundtracks. Sorry, I wanted to keep things legal and the music fit.)

Trees

This comment about Oakhurst’s trees was posted at the Decatur Metro blog:

Credit: Decatur Metro. November 13, 2012.

Someone using the screen name “Pierce” replied to LilyinEastlake that Oakhurst’s trees were valued and were by no means endangered. “We have an abundance of trees that help to define the character of our community,” wrote Pierce. “And I do not see that defining characteristic to be at significant risk.” Bravo for LilyinEastlake’s response: ” ‘Had’ an abundance of trees. I am sure things will look like the “safe” burb’s soon enough.”

Personally, I wonder if anyone has kept track of how many trees Arlene Dean, Thrive, and Stoney River have cut down in Oakhurst over the past 18 months ….

Decatur as sustainable? Only if you believe the PR. More and more folks just aren’t buying it. In January 2012, I interviewed an environmental professional who lives in Decatur. Here’s what s/he had to say about Decatur and its policies towards trees and sustainability:

They’re doing a sustainability study right now and I’m like, “Sustainable? All of Oakhurst is becoming unsustainable.” You have huge amounts of impervious surface. Ripping down the trees. Throwing tons of stuff into landfills. Still having to heat and cool a huge house. I mean what’s sustainable about that? It’s a joke. It’s a joke. — Name Withheld, January 9, 2012.

Listen to the audio clip (pitch altered to protect interview subject’s identity):

Credit: Google Maps.

Credit: Google Maps.

212 Olympic Place

212 Olympic Place. Credit: 2009 Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

212 Olympic Place. September 12, 2012.

At least one Decaturite attended the September 2012 variance hearing and was looking out for the environment — or at least part of the environment. Credit: Decatur Metro, September 12, 2012.

212 Olympic Place, November 7, 2012, after teardown.

222 Maxwell Street

222 Maxwell Street. Credit: Decatur 2009 citywide historic resources survey.

222 Maxwell Street, November 7, 2012, shortly after teardown.

615 Ansley Street

In October 2012 Oakhurst residents affiliated with the Wylde Center distributed this email:

615-ansley-email

And they spoke to the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association at its September 2012 meeting:

Capture-615-Ansley-Leaflet-2012-10

Yet, it appears that the Decatur Preservation Alliance and all other parties declined to get involved in the effort to prevent another home from being sent to a landfill and in October 2012 the home was demolished. Its replacement? A new “High-end 5br/3.5ba” home.

615 Ansley Street. Credit: 2009 citywide historic resources survey.

615 Ansley Street, prepped for teardown. October 10, 2012.

615 Ansley Street, October 17, 2012.

615 Ansley Street, January 3, 2013..

615 Ansley Street, January 3, 2013..

Realtor ad for new home at 615 Ansley Street. Credit: Oakhurst Neighborhood Association Leaflet, December 2012.

Realtor ad for new home at 615 Ansley Street. Credit: Oakhurst Neighborhood Association Leaflet, December 2012.

703 Third Avenue

703 Third Avenue in 2009. Credit: City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

703 Third Avenue, October 17, 2012.

703 Third Avenue. January 7, 2013.

703 Third Avenue. January 7, 2013.

703 Third avenue. Builder's advertisement. Credit: Stoney River Homes

703 Third avenue. Builder’s advertisement. Credit: Stoney River Homes (http://www.stoneyriverhomes.com/forsale/oakhurst/)

702 Third Avenue

Pop-top on Third.

702 Third Avenue in 2009. Credit: City of Decatur 2009 Historic Resources Survey.

702 Third Avenue. October 3, 2012.

702 Third Avenue. October 17, 2012.

 

 

Decatur: Ditch historic preservation

I don’t think Decatur needs a new historic preservation planner, despite the fact that it appears the incumbent seems to have been missing in action from Oakhurst since she was first hired by the City. Rather, I believe that Decatur does not need a historic preservation planner at all. Or, for that matter, a historic preservation commission. I think the city should repeal its historic preservation ordinance.

If the City of Decatur is going to hold private property owners to a higher regulatory standard than it has for itself, i.e., City properties are not subject to historic preservation commission review; if the City is going to ignore entire segments of its population and their heritage sites simply to ensure smooth regulatory sailing for high-profile redevelopment projects; and, if Decatur’s only use for historic preservation is as a marketing tool, then the State of Georgia should not be funding “preservation” activities in the city and Decatur should lose its Certified Local Government status.

As my interview with the city’s historic preservation planner shows, there’s a wide gulf between Decatur’s historic preservation rhetoric and its historic preservation policies and practices. But I’m simply a former Decatur resident and that’s just my opinion. Any action or advocacy must come from Decatur taxpayers.

© 2012 D.S. Rotenstein

205-215 Olympic Place

Another property that appears to have been omitted from the 2009 Decatur Historic Resources Survey. The ranch house pictured below in the screen capture from Google was located next to brick apartment buildings at what appears to have been 179 Olympic Place. A builder has demolished all of the 1960s buildings in these parcels and is constructing new homes (Sept. 2012).

West side of Olympic Place, 200 block. Credit: Google Maps.

Olympic Place teardowns captured by Microsoft aerial photography. Credit: Bing Maps.

West side of the 200 block of Olympic Place. September 12, 2012.

To get the full experience, view the HD video in full-screen mode

West side of the 200 block of Olympic Place. September 12, 2012.

West side of the 200 block of Olympic Place. September 12, 2012.

News from the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association

Oakhurst’s neighborhood association hosted builders at its August 2012 meeting. The meeting minutes published in the Leaflet newsletter failed to mention gentrification, teardowns, historic preservation, and the elderly’s high property tax burden. The ONA did, however, provide this report on its esteemed panel:

Oakhurst Neighborhood Association
Continued from Page 2

A panel of neighborhood builders and renovators shared their insights and expertise about home construction and home improvement projects, as well as observations about trends in Oakhurst. The participants were Arlene Dean of Arlene Dean Quality Homes, Ali Herriot of Hammertime Construction, Inc., Peter Michelson of Renewal Design Build, and Eric Rawlings of Rawlings Designs, Inc. Eric is an architect. Hammertime and Renewal focus on renovations and additions. Arlene Dean focuses on entire home renovations (rather than individual rooms) and new construction. The participants answered several questions posed by President Mike Vajda and audience members. Mike thanked the panel participants for their time, as well as for the support that each of them has given to the ONA and Oakhurst over the past several years.

116 East Lake Drive

116 East Lake Drive. Credit: 2009 citywide historic resources survey (West Decatur Survey Area).

116 East Lake Drive. September 8, 2012.

 

After the Decatur year

Just because we moved away from Decatur, that doesn’t mean this blog will be frozen in time. Small homes continue to be demolished and McMansions continue to rise throughout Oakhurst. Posts appearing in this blog from this point forward will feature new teardowns and new mansionization. Follow along as we document Decatur ruining its most distinctive and arguably most historic neighborhood.

For more historical background on Decatur’s Oakhurst neighborhood, visit my main blog: blog.historian4hire.net

1020 Adams Street

1020 Adams Street. July 2012.

1020 Adams Street after teardown. November 7, 2012.

1020 Adams Street. January 13, 2013.

1020 Adams Street. January 13, 2013.

522 East Lake Drive

522 East Lake Drive. Credit: 2009 Decatur Citywide Historic Resources Survey.

522 East Lake Drive. Demolition, August 30, 2012.

This house was one of the Newbold Development Company’s homes built in the Edgemoor subdivision in 1940. The company was nationally recognized for its high-quality small houses. The historically authentic 1,096-square-foot 1940 home will be replaced by a 2,800-square-foot historically inspired McMansion:

522 East Lake Drive. Credit: Zillow.com

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

522 East Lake Drive. January 11, 2013.

 

523 McKoy Street

523 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

523 McKoy Street. Heavy equipment in waiting. August 26, 2012.

523 McKoy Street. Demolition, August 30, 2012.

523 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

523 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

 

Fifth Avenue Elementary School

Torn down in 2010; completed and opened August 2011.

Credit: City of Decatur 2009 Historic Resources Survey.

Completed 4/5 Academy, 2011.

Read more about the school.

An example of the visual and identity-related incongruity that result when a historic school is replaced with a new building that does not complement its surroundings can be seen in the new 4/5 Academy in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur. — Amber Rhea, Educating DeKalb: Midcentury Elementary Schools in DeKalb County, p.32.

Decatur’s official position on Oakhurst preservation

Preservation, historic and more.

Three weeks after I received this letter I met Menne for a chat at a Decatur coffee shop. We discussed historic preservation, the environment, and gentrification. When I raised some of the interviews I had done with elderly African American homeowners in Oakhurst being preyed upon by builders, she offered no solutions to preserving small homes (not historic preservation; housing preservation) and affordable housing in general. And then she said, “They’re just going to die.” After that happens, there’s nothing the City can do about their properties. An assistant city manager said that. I asked her to do a more formal, recorded interview and I received no response. I did, however, get this email from her:

I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on the lack of follow-up. She did write that she’s a “ponderer” and that she requires time to contemplate issues. Since our meeting in April, Oakhurst houses have continued going into landfills weekly and elderly residents continue to be hounded by opportunistic builders.

Update (August 9, 2012): After this post went live I read the August 8, 2012 Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A letter to the editor from Jesse Clark, executive director of Atlanta’s Historic District Development Corporation, underscores why Decatur’s housing and preservation policies are a failure. Clark wrote,

There are very few subsidies available to nonprofit community development corporations in Atlanta to help us with our work of revitalizing and historically preserving communities, while preventing the displacement of low- to moderate-income residents. However, those that do exist have proven to work (as seen from the transformation of the eastern portion of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District). The continued support of our mission of revitalization, historic preservation and affordable housing is a prudent and necessary public investment to ensure that our community is thriving and inclusive going forward.

331 Fourth Avenue

331 Fourth Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

331 Fourth Avenue. August 7, 2012.

331 Fourth Avenue. August 7, 2012.

331 Fourth Avenue. August 7, 2012.

331 Fourth Avenue. October 17, 2012.

 

222 West Hill Street

222 West Hill Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

222 West Hill Street. July 28, 2012.

222 West Hill Street. September 8, 2012.

 

222 West Hill Street. Proposed new construction facade. Credit: Thrives Homes <http://www.thrivehomesatlanta.com/properties/view/66&gt;.

Patti’s punt (or, Patti passes the buck)

Decatur city commissioner Patti Garrett on teardowns, taxes, and the environment, February 2012:

215 Fayetteville Road

215 Fayetteville Road. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

215 Fayetteville Road. August 5, 2012.

215 Fayetteville Road. August 12, 2012.

215 Fayetteville Road. August 12, 2012.

215 Fayetteville Road (left). August 26, 2012.

 

215 Fayetteville Road. September 8, 2012.

120 West Hill Street

Thrive Homes divided the lot at 120 West Hill Street and built a pair of historically inspired homes that are juxtaposed against modest postwar ranches.

120 West Hill Street. May 14, 2012, prior to construction.

Former 120 West Hill Street (118 & 122 West Hill Street). July 28, 2012.

Former 120 West Hill Street (118 & 122 West Hill Street). July 28, 2012.

 

 

918 Third Avenue

918 Third Ave. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

918 Third Ave. July 5, 2012.

918 Third Ave. July 19, 2012.

918 Third Ave. August 7, 2012.

 

124 Park Place (updated)

124 Park Place. Credit: Google Maps.

124 Park Place. July 19, 2012.

I typically try to show the properties posted at this site using photos from the 2009 Citywide historic resources survey. Unfortunately, despite Decatur Historic Preservation Planner Regina Brewer’s assertions that the 2009 survey was complete and met all of the city’s requirements, this property and its neighbors in the heart of the Town of Oakhurst‘s former core appear to have been omitted from the survey. The City of Decatur paid a consultant $35,000 to conduct the survey.

Proposed Oakurst Historic District map from the 2009 citywide historic resources survey. The arrow points to where the house at 124 Park Place stood.

Brewer wrote to me in February 2012 to complain that I had described the 2009 survey as incomplete:

From: Regina Brewer
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:43 AM
To: David Rotenstein
Cc: Lyn Menne; Amanda Thompson;

Subject: RE: Decatur teardown diary

You have stated that the work is incomplete, there is a difference.  Further, every survey has some mistakes especially when it is a windshield survey.  I believe HPD tried to make this point to you in your meeting with them regarding Decatur’s preservation practices.  I imagine even your work has some mistakes as no one is perfect.

I would again respectfully request that you change how you phrase your comments and consider what your goal is in making these comments.

Regina Brewer

Update (July 24, 2012): Silly me. Why would I think this block would be included in any proposed Oakhurst Historic District. According to Brewer, it’s in the so-called “West Decatur Survey Area“:

124 Park Place. Credit: 2009 Citywide historic resources survey.

Brewer’s correction does not change the basic fact that yet another historic house in Oakhurst has gone to a landfill. And, it begs the question why the block was not included in the proposed Oakhurst Historic District. As one reader noted in an earlier version of this post, a Decatur attorney who lives in the block was one of the leaders opposing the creation in 2007 of an Oakhurst Historic District. Does omission of this block from the area included in Oakhurst have anything to do with that? And if so, do all Decatur residents get the right to gerrymander historic district boundaries because they live within proposed boundaries?

136 Madison Avenue

Many homeowners and communities value the history embedded in early twentieth century kit homes. Sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co., Aladdin, and other national firms, these homes were well-designed. And, if built according to the manufacturer’s instructions, remarkably durable.

136 Madison Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

Kit homes are historic and that historicity is recognized in books, academic articles, and by historic preservation designations. Decatur builder Arlene Dean, though, does not appear to be a historic kit home fan. In 2011 she described this property as an “ugly duckling” in her request for a zoning variance to increase the FAR for the lot. A single picture from the 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey does not provide sufficient information to determine if 136 Madison Avenue originated in a Sears, Roebuck and Company kit or from a Sears competitor, like Aladdin.

October 2011 Decatur Zoning Board of Appeals application narrative from builder Arlene Dean describing the existing property.

136 Madison Avenue after alterations completed. June 2012.

511 Third Avenue

511 Third Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

511 Third Avenue. July 15, 2012.

511 Third Avenue. August 5, 2012.

511 Third Avenue. August 12, 2012.

511 Third Avenue. August 23, 2012.

 

511 Third Avenue. September 8, 2012.

324 Spring Street

This property was a vacant lot when we made an offer to buy the house at 316 Spring Street in June 2011. A house contemporaneous to the one we bought had been torn down after the 2009 citywide historic resources survey had been completed.

324 Spring Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

By the time we moved into 316 Spring Street the first week in September 2011, this new home was nearing completion:

324 Spring Street. July 29, 2011.

324 Spring Street. July 2012.

We lived at 316 Spring Street for 10 months and seven days. We moved because we didn’t want to continue as participant observers in a community undergoing rapid gentrification through teardowns and mansionization.

The view from our kitchen window at 316 Spring Street. December, 2011.

537 McKoy Street

537 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

537 McKoy Street being prepared for teardown by builder Arlene Dean. July 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 5, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 23, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 26, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. August 30, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. September 8, 2012.

537 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

537 McKoy Street. January 3, 2013.

537 McKoy Street. Rendering of proposed new home. Credit: Arlene Dean Quality Homes.

537 McKoy Street. Rendering of proposed new home. Credit: Arlene Dean Quality Homes.

524 Oakview Road

Infill.

524 Oakview Road under construction. July 2012.

524 Oakview Road under construction. July 2012.

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 1, 2014.

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 1, 2014.

1210 Oakview Road (updated)

Oakhurst teardown and gentrification apologist @Oakhurstgossip recently tweeted that work beginning on an early 20th century cottage will result in “a great renovation/preservation.”

Sadly, the project will be neither. Despite the builder’s assertion that the modest house was a “farmhouse,” it actually was a New South Cottage built along the Atlanta Consolidated Streetcar Company trolley line linking Decatur with Atlanta. The line was constructed in a right-of-way its owners had hoped would become their version of the more prominent Ponce de Leon corridor, complete with parklands and stylish suburban homes. Like 1210 Oakview Road.

1210 Oakview Road. May, 2012.

The builder proposes to construct a rear addition and add space to the existing block by piercing the classic cottage hipped roof with massive shed dormers on the front and west side facades.

1210 Oakview Road architect’s rendering. Credit: http://1210oakviewroad.com/

1210 Oakview Road. Rear of house removed, July 2, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road. chimneys removed, July 2, 2012.

Um, @OakhurstGossip, what was that you tweeted about the shed dormer?

1210 Oakview Road. shed dormer construction begins, July 2, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road. Gutted, July 7, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road. July 15, 2012. I guess the historically authentic porch didn’t fit what likely will be the transformation of this former New South Cottage into a faux Craftsman. And, contrary to tweeter @OakhurstGossip’s now-locked tweet, the builder is punching through the roof and adding a shed dormer to the principal facade.

1210 Oakview Road. July 22, 2012.

1210 Oakview Road, “rehab” completed and first open house announced. September 8, 2012. Voila, it’s no longer historic!

 

@Oakhurstgossip, call it a renovation or something else but don’t call this project “historic preservation” because it isn’t. This project embodies the “Ruined Decatur” principle.

611 McKoy Street

611 McKoy Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

Screen capture, 611 McKoy Street. Credit: Stoney River Homes. <http://www.stoneyriverhomes.com/index.php?page=oakhurst>

611 McKoy Street. July, 2012.

829 Third Avenue

829 Third Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

829 Third Avenue prior to teardown. June 30, 2012.

829 Third Ave. August 5, 2012.

829 Third Ave. October 17, 2012.

 

829 Third Avenue. Announcement for new home at this site on builder’s brochure for another teardown site.

1110 Adams Street

1110 Adams Street being prepped for teardown. June 19, 2012.

1110 Adams Street. Teardown, July 5, 2012.

1110 Adams Street. Teardown, July 5, 2012.

1110 Adams Street. Builder’s brochure.

169 Olympic Place

Brick multi-family apartment building demolished; lot subdivided; two McMansions built (2011-2012).

169 Olympic Place. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

171 and 173 Olympic Place. Constructed in 2011-2012 to replace the brick apartment building that once occupied 169 Olympic Place. June, 2012.

108 Fifth Avenue

Spotted by Terry Kearns in February, 2012.

 

 

108-fifth-redone.jpg

Finished 2015

220 Fourth Avenue

220 Fourth Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

220 Fourth Avenue. Tree cutting in advance of demolition for mansionization. June 15, 2012.

220 Fourth Avenue. July 31, 2012.

220 Fourth Avenue. August 5, 2012.

220 Fourth Avenue. August 9, 2012.

220 Fourth Avenue, as seen from the neighbor to the south. August 9, 2012.

220 Fourth Avenue, as seen from the neighbor to the north. August 9, 2012.

1026 Adams Street

1026 Adams Street. June 12, 2012.

Builder’s Website placeholder for 1026 Adams Street. Credit: http://segway-properties.com/properties_for_sale.html

This property was one of the Decatur urban homesteading dollar homes. In November 2012, the home was torn down, along with its neighbor at 1020 Adams Street. Prior to its acquisition by the builder in the summer of 2012, the home had been owned by the same family who bought it in 1978 for $1.00. To date, this builder has torn down several of the former homesteading homes and replaced them with homes 2 and three times the size of the teardowns. The copy from a real estate Website hints that the lot is ideal for another McMansion:

Design your own modern classic home with Decatur’s premier builder, Arlene Dean. This is an opportunity to work directly with Arlene and her team of professionals, including award winning architect, Eric Rawlings, AIA, LEED, to custom build a home from the ground up on this oversized corner lot. You will be able to walk to McKoy Park without crossing any streets and easily stroll to Oakhurst Village and 5th Ave. School. Known for her classic designs, skillful use of materials and advanced building techniques, Arlene Dean will build the home you’ve been dreaming of.

1026 Adams Street after teardown. November 7, 2012.

1026 Adams Street. Completed replacement home.

1026 Adams Street. Completed replacement home.

154 Greenwood Avenue

154 Greenwood Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

154 Greenwood Avenue. June 2012.

150 Greenwood Avenue

150 Greenwood Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

150 Greenwood Avenue. June 2012.

217 Fourth Avenue

217 Fourth Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

217 Fourth Avenue. April 30, 2012.

217 Fourth Avenue. A teardown yet legally just a rehab. Maybe the builder’s going to leave the rear & roof off the final product to make it more airy. Or not.  June 7, 2012.

217 Fourth Avenue. June 12, 2012.

217 Fourth Avenue. June 30, 2012.

217 Fourth Avenue. Side facade extent as seen (between trees) from Gordon Avenue to the South. June 30, 2012.

425 Fayetteville Road

425 Fayetteville Road. Apartments demolished in 2011. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

427 and 431 Fayetteville Road. New homes constructed in 2011-2012 at former apartments site. April, 2012.

The Decatur sustainability video

Exclusionary zoning + teardowns + mansionization  sustainability

114 McKoy Street

Another faux prairie infill overlooking Oakview Road.

817 East Lake Drive

Infill mansionization.

817 East Lake, May 2012.

621 East Lake Drive

621 East Lake Drive. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

621 East Lake Drive, May 2012.

232 Cambridge Avenue

Another urban homesteading dollar home.

232 Cambridge Ave. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

232 Cambridge Ave. Work in progress, May 2012.

232 Cambridge Ave. Rendering of proposed completion. Credit: Thrive Homes Website.

232 Cambridge Avenue. Completed. August 7, 2012.

232 Cambridge Avenue. August 7, 2012.

608 Third Avenue

608 Third Avenue. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

608 Third Avenue (left) after teardown and new home construction. May 2012.

205 Maxwell Street

205 Maxwell Street, March 9, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street, March 9, 2012.

Chimney removed at 205 Maxwell Street, May 4, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street, May 10, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street, May 10, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street, May 15, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street, May 10, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street. June 7, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street. June 15, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street. Mansionization as seen through neighbors trees. June 15, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street. July 15, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street. August 5, 2012.

205 Maxwell Street. August 26, 2012.

05 Maxwell Street. June 3, 2014.

05 Maxwell Street. June 3, 2014.

Rendering of proposed new construction at 205 Maxwell Street. Screen capture from Segway Properties <http://segway-properties.com/205_maxwell_street.html&gt;.

Go drive down Maxwell and tell me the enormous home under construction that cantilevers out over the double-wide driveway leading to a two-car garage is “in character” with the neighborhood. It’s freaking huge and dwarfs everything around it.

Putting a couple tapered columns on the front porch doesn’t make something that wide “fit” with surrounding buildings. The scale of craftsman architecture breaks down when you try and force it onto a 5 bedroom, 3 story home. — “Red92S, July 26, 2012.

… it’s hardly “in character” with the neighborhood, and I think it’s pretty offensive. Adhering to building ordinances does not make something automatically kosher. That thing would never get off the page if the lot were in the MAK district, which in my opinion would have been a much preferable situation. I’m sure agents working in the area love these huge things and the commission checks that come along with them. Hard to fault anyone personally benefiting from this development for being in favor of it’s continuation. It’s obviously a product people want, I just wish it didn’t have to come at the expense of older homes. — “Red92S, July 29, 2012.

It’s interesting to compare comments like those Red92s left at the http://www.city-data.com site to how builder Arlene Dean describes her work and its relationship to the existing built environment:

No matter the style, utmost consideration for the existing neighborhood ensures that Arlene Dean always complement as well as enhance the streetscape. — Arlene Dean Quality Homes Website.

209 McKoy Street

One inartful addition was replaced by a faux Prairie.

209 McKoy Street prior to demolition. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

New “Prairie Modern” under construction, April 2012.

209 McKoy Street completed. June 7, 2012. Note the mailbox — it’s really compatible with the others along McKoy Street (and all of Oakhurst).

209 McKoy Street rear and garage as seen from W. Benson Street. June 7. 2012.

117 Maxwell Street

117 Maxwell Street. Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

117 Maxwell Street teardown in progress, December 20, 2011.

117 Maxwell Street. New home under construction at teardown site, March 9, 2012.

117 Maxwell Street. May 4, 2012.

916 East Lake Drive

916 East Lake, October 17, 2011.

916 East Lake Drive during teardown, October 20, 2011.

916 East Lake Drive, October 21, 2011.

916 East Lake Drive, new home completed, February 22, 2012.

Read this post for a complete rundown on this teardown. This was the teardown that raised my awareness to Decatur’s unsustainable policies.

605 McKoy Street

605 McKoy Street before demolition and tree removal. Photo by author, April 2012.

605 McKoy with builder’s sign. Photo by author, April 2012.

605 McKoy being demolished. Photo by author, April 30, 2012.

In the video you can make out clothes still hanging in a closet and an attic full of family belongings.
The backhoe tears through the attic and the abandoned family belongings go into the debris pile.

605 McKoy being demolished. Photo by author, April 30, 2012.

605 McKoy after demolition. The mature trees framing the backhoe are being cut down. Photo by author, May 1, 2012.

605 McKoy. June 1, 2012.

Brochure for the replacement home to be constructed at 605 McKoy Street.

As the house was being demolished, I tweeted a picture of it with a comment about the builder razing with the family’s contents still inside. Tony Sullivan, an Oakhurst resident who lives nearby, sent this compassionate tweet:

470 Ansley Street

470 Ansley, March 5, 2012.

470 Ansley Street, April 27, 2012. 7:10 AM.

470 Ansley Street, April 27, 2012. 10:30 AM.

470 Ansley Street, September 22, 2012.

Read more about this teardown.

235 West Benson

Popped top:

Credit: City of Decatur 2009 Historic Resources Survey.

According to the 2009 citywide historic resources survey, 235 West Benson was one of a small number of historic homes credited with being in excellent condition. Now, the property no longer retains its historic integrity.

922 East Lake Drive

454 Ansley Street

454 Ansley Street completed. First open house, July 1, 2012.

Read more about this teardown.

450 Ansley Street

Read more about this teardown.

231 Fourth Avenue

231 Fourth Avenue being prepped for teardown. April 2012.

231 Fourth Avenue. Teardown in progress, April 2012.

231 Fourth Avenue. McMansion rising at former ranch house site. July 22, 2012.

231 Fourth Ave. August 5, 2012.

231 Fourth Ave. November 7, 2012.

 

211 West Hill Street

Credit: 2009 City of Decatur Historic Resources Survey.

211 West Hill after teardown. April 2012.

211 West Hill Street. July 28, 2012.