by Jamie Wallace
It’s Tour Time
A look inside the Druid Hills homes and gardens
For more than 50 years, spring in Atlanta has been synonymous with the Druid Hills Tour of Homes and Gardens. For its 51st anniversary, the 2019 tour has “gone green.” Visitors will delight in the walkability of the featured sites.
Steven Mathias, chair of the Druid Hills Civic Association Tour Committee, said tour goers “will find inspiration, celebration and a focus on preserving and extending the vision of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.”
It’s no surprise the tour includes homes that showcase the diverse architectural and design styles of Druid Hills, a neighborhood that boasts some of the most exquisite architecture of the roaring 1920s.
The tour marries the work of historical architects and builders who brought the neighborhood to life with the talent of modern master architects, interior designers, general contractors and landscape designers who keep it an Atlanta treasure.
Take a peek at history updated with modern luxury in these homes and gardens on tour:
Steven Colby & Christy Hutcherson
This traditional brick home exhibits Italian and Mediterranean detailing. Renovated and redecorated in 2018, the home maintains its original stairs and bannister, leaded glass windows, front door and hardwood floors and boasts a new chef’s kitchen, master suite and garden room. Be sure to visit “Moose” the famous Superbowl goat in the backyard goat farm.
“Folk Art House”
Mark and JoAnn Herold
Situated on a Druid Hills famed twitten (a path cutting through some of the neighborhood’s long blocks), this quintessential period bungalow gets its name from the extensive collection of folk art displayed by homeowners. The patio, pool and guesthouse were designed by Atlanta architect Jay Jones and the construction was featured on HGTV’s Ground Breakers program.
“The Secret Garden”
When Chris Robyler purchased this 1929 property in 2001, the landscaping was in need of a complete renewal. This property inspired an interest in gardening for Robyler, who completed all the landscaping and hardscaping with the help of his good friend and landscape designer, David Elis. The resulting shade garden boasts nearly 20 Japanese maples.
David and Katherine Decker
One of the most distinctive homes on Springdale Road, this Classical Revival is a keeper of history with four porch columns and a fireplace mantel that were salvaged from an antebellum plantation in Savannah. Be sure to check out the numerous leaded glass windows, the round kitchen and the “rock house” in the rear of the home.
Greg & Lindsey Swartzberg
The “Azalea House” is an Oxford original, one of a handful of the first few homes built on Oxford Road. It is believed to be built by H. W. Nichols, who was a prominent developer in the area. The owners are Atlanta natives who are celebrating its rich history through their design choices. Their paternal grandparents met on the same Atlanta streetcar line that once ran along this street.
“Springdale Park Elementary”
Preston Ladds, Vice President
Take a walk through history as a local elementary school gets transformed to its original grandeur. Built for J.N. Hirsch, a prominent Atlanta businessman in the wholesale tobacco and confectionery trade, this home is a replica of an Italian villa and was designed to entertain the opera community in Atlanta.
“Black Sheep House”
A rare contemporary, the “Black Sheep House” showcases traditional massing with Tudor overtones. With 6,000 square feet, its floorplan combines large, open, light-filled spaces with traditional features. Moldings, fireplaces and herringbone floors give a nod to the historic neighborhood while modern conveniences and ample space for entertaining suit today’s lifestyle.
Plan your tour at druidhillstour.org.
2019 Tour Tips
Dates: April 12 to 14
Times: Friday 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Route Info: Destinations are in close proximity. No trolley is needed this year.
Purchase Tickets: Druidhillstour.org
Ticket Pickup and Day of Tickets: Will Call at Lucky Dog restaurant in Emory Village Plaza during the tour
$20 per person for groups of 6 or more
$25 per person during pre-sale, which ends Thursday, April 11
$30 per person when purchased any days of the tour
Proceeds: Benefit the Druid Hills neighborhood, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.