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Brookwood Hills History
Buckhead's only completely enclaved neighborhood, Brookwood Hills enjoys the kind of privacy most urban residents only dream about. The community of 370 homes set on 40 gently rolling acres stretches back from the east side of Peachtree Road from I-85 to Brighton Road at Piedmont Hospital.
Large Mediterranean, Georgian, Colonial and Tudor homes line streets shaded by towering oaks 100 years old. Lush ivy on walls and in beds keeps the area green even in winter. Lots tend to be small, often less than one-half acre, with homes set near the street, but the landscaping is lush and gardens are carefully maintained. Sidewalks and absence of traffic encourage walkers, joggers, bicyclists and impromptu street games.
The earliest history of the area is commemorated on a granite marker at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Palisades Road. This monument marks the spot where two major Creek Indian trails intersected, the Echota Trail and the Peachtree Trail.
The neighborhood lies in an area where fighting was heavy during the Civil War's 1864 Battle of Peachtree Creek, which began near the present-day intersection of Peachtree and Brighton roads. The area was forests and fields then, stretching along unpaved Peachtree Road between Atlanta and Buckhead.
In the late 1880s, prominent Atlanta hotel owner Joseph Thompson and his wife built a country estate near what is now the Peachtree Road-I-85 interchange. They called it "Brookwood," and today's neighborhood echoes that name.
Soon after the turn of the century, other rich Atlantans began building homes north of the city. In 1912, developers B.F. Burdett and E.F. Chambless began the subdivision that is now Brookwood Hills. Development was interrupted by World War I, but took off in the post-war boom.
The final development also included land from the estate of Andrew Jackson Collier. The homestead of the Collier family, one of Atlanta's oldest, stood near the southwest corner of Peachtree and Collier roads.
Some of Atlanta's most prominent architects designed homes in Brookwood Hills, according to the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. Among them: Neel Reid, Burge and Stevens, Ivy and Crook, Alger and Vinour, Pringle and Smith, and H.W. Nicholes. (Neel Reid's work also can be seen at the nearby Brookwood AMTRAK station. In 1999, all that remained of a once-elegant row of Brookwood shops, also designed by Reid, was torn down for construction of Brookwood Place, a development of 111 condominiums, 26 townhomes and new retail shops.)
The oldest section of the neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s and was designated an Atlanta Conservation District in 1994.
In 1939, the Brookwood Hills Community Club was formed. It includes a six-acre park with swimming pool, clubhouse and tennis courts.
Brookwood Hills has easy access via Peachtree to both Midtown and Buckhead. It is conveniently close to shopping and restaurants along Peachtree Road, medical facilities around Piedmont Hospital and AMTRAK rail service at Brookwood Station.
A 1939 map shows South Buckhead and Brookwood Hills before construction of Atlanta's freeways. The huge Brookwood interchange, where the Downtown Connector now splits into Interstates 75 and 85 took a big bite out of this area, including homes designed by famed architect Neel Reid. The dark north-south street is Peachtree Road.