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Close Encounter Near Deepdene Park

A longtime supporter of the Olmsted Linear Park had a close encounter with wildlife on June 12. It was early afternoon when Gail King drove along Ponce de Leon Avenue from Decatur back to her home. She spotted a very large moving object crossing the street near the intersection of Ponce and East Lake Road.  It turned out to be a huge Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra Serpentina) making its way slowly across the busy avenue from Deepdene Park. Gail immediately slowed and turned her car sideways so as to block two lanes of traffic heading west.  Another motorist also saw the turtle and used his vehicle to block the east-bound lanes. Then an observer who seemed knowledgeable about what he was doing lifted the turtle by the rear of its shell and carried it safely across Ponce de Leon in the southerly direction in which it was traveling. Gail estimated the turtle’s length at about 15 inches including a very large head. At one point the turtle snapped at the air and Gail could see pink inside the turtle’s mouth. Read more

Spotlight: Merl Reed

Merl ReedIn the living room of the house on North Decatur Road where Merl Reed has lived since 1967, the traffic is inaudible. The quiet is due, in large part, to the growth of two magnolia trees that he planted in the front yard 47 years ago. “And storm windows,” he adds.

A former president of the Druid Hills Civic Association who grew up on a farm in upstate New York, Merl was most active in Druid Hills during his terms in 1984 and 1992. During these years, the neighborhood faced serious issues related to development, including the construction of an expressway in connection with the newly built Carter Center. Read more

A Story about the Briarcliff Hotel

Briarcliff_Hotel

What do The Briarcliff Hotel, Hovie Lister, and Lloyd Preacher have in common?

G. Lloyd Preacher was an Atlanta architect who designed the Henry Grady Hotel (now demolished), Atlanta’s Art Deco Neo Gothic City Hall, the Medical Arts Building, present-day Inman Middle School, and “Rainbow Terrace” — a Mediterranean-style Druid Hills mansion – for Asa Candler’s daughter Lucy.  He also designed his own home, a Neo-Spanish Villa, across from Rainbow Terrace on South Ponce de Leon Avenue.

In 1925, Lloyd Preacher drew plans for an H-shaped red brick apartment building, known as “The 750” for its address on Ponce de Leon, for Asa G. “Buddie” Candler, Jr.  Later, The 750 became a 400-room hotel and still later a retirement home called Briarcliff Summit.  The 750 featured a two-story cast-in-place concrete base and its top floor was stuccoed with terra cotta detailing. Buddie Candler lived and worked in the building, having moved into the nine-room penthouse after selling his mansion at Briarcliff Farm (now owned by Emory University). Read more

DHCA Responds to 2014 DeKalb County Transportation Plan

The Transportation Committee of the Druid Hills Civic Association has submitted its comments to DeKalb County regarding the proposed transportation plan which can be viewed at http://www.dekalbtransportationplan2014.com/documents.htm.

The Committee’s comments appear below.

DHCA Response to Invitation for Public Comment

If you are concerned about transportation in DeKalb County and would like to participate in the Transportation Committee, please contact transportation@druidhills.org.

Druid Hills Tour: A Resounding Success!

Tour Trolley

They came by cab, bicycle, trolley, and on foot – hundreds of tourgoers who filled neighborhood streets during the weekend of May 2-4 to visit homes, gardens, and an artist market at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.

The tour was a record-breaker, grossing more than $70,000 according to DHCA treasurer Scott Storbeck.  The association will use the revenue to fund community organizations and initiatives and support the work of its committees, among other activities.

The large crowds enjoyed a perfect weekend of sunny, warm weather.  Some visitors to the gardens at 1209, 965, and 797 Springdale spent as much as an hour strolling around outside and chatting with the homeowners and docents about landscaping. Read more

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