Those lovely low-pitched Atlanta homes with overhangs and exposed porches are often loosely described by Realtors as Bungalows, meaning any small to medium-sized home built between 1900 and 1940 with an open floor plan, and a single story or story and a half.
The original Indian word, “bangla”, was the name used to describe a small thatched structure for wayfarers. The British adapted the concept during their colonial occupation of India in the 19th Century, building one-story houses with wide covered verandas and an open floor plan to encourage cross-ventilation in a hot, arid country.
The popularity of the Bungalow style grew at the turn of the century, offering a low cost and attractive alternative for many individuals getting by on modest means. According to Old Houses.Com, the Bungalow filled more than the need for shelter. With its style, convenience, simplicity, sound construction and excellent plumbing, it represented the fulfillment of the American Dream.
Atlanta Homes - Bungalows
While many Bungalows in the Atlanta area were built between 1900 and the 1940’s, the style is still popular today and the influence is evident in many newer Decatur homes, as well as Atlanta Homes. Most are constructed of wood, brick, stone, or a combination of exterior finishes, and are often characterized by a side porch or a covered front porch with an entryway set off to one side. Antique Home Style lists the following typical features of Bungalows.
The most prevalent Atlanta Bungalow styles are the Arts and Crafts/ Craftsman, Tudor and Cape Cod varieties.
Atlanta Homes - Craftsman-Style
Our Craftsman-style bungalow has its roots in the British “Arts and Crafts” movement, a philosophy nurtured by William Morris, that emphasized the hand-made over the mass-produced. The American “Arts and Crafts” movement was a reaction to the over-decorated Victorian era, just coming to a close in the early 1900’s, and encouraged originality, simplicity of form and the use of local natural materials. These homes were built by the new “middle class”, and were often modest in size with low, gently sloping roofs and deep porches with distinctive square pillars. Interiors featured built-in china cabinets, nooks, bookcases, seating area and shelving.
Atlanta Decatur Homes is a local Atlanta real estate company serving Atlanta, Decatur, Druid Hills, Emory University and Tucker neighborhoods for over 25 years.
One of the most desirable neighborhoods in the City of Decatur is located just off Clairemont Avenue. Some of the most beautiful Decatur Homes are found in Great Lakes, which was named for long-vanished Lake Seneca, now a mostly dry stream in Waddell Park.
History of Great Lakes
The surrounding streets were named for the famous French explorer, Samuel de Champlain and the Great Lakes he discovered in the early 1600's – Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Erie, Lake Seneca, and Lake Ontario.
Champlain was the first European to explore and describe the Great Lakes, providing some of the first maps and descriptions of the Great Lakes area – the largest fresh water system on Earth. Lake Erie, which meant Lake of the Cat, was named for the Erie Indians who occupied the southern shore, literally called People of the Panther; Lake Huron, named Lac des Hurons, was the Lake of the Huron Indians; Lake Seneca the land of the Seneca Indians; and Lake Superior was referred to by the early French explorers as Le lac Superieur, which translated to “Upper Lake”.
Clairemont Avenue, which borders the historic Great Lakes neighborhood, was originally part of a Native American trail leading to a crossing at the Chattahoochee, known as Shallowford Trail.
Architecture of Great Lakes
Great Lakes was developed beginning in 1913 through the 1930's and contains some of the most interesting architecture in Decatur. Craftsmen-style bungalows predominate, but a large variety of Decatur homes exist, including English Tudor and Georgia Vernacular bungalows, as well as newer construction that mimics prevailing styles on a larger scale. Great Lakes now falls within a Historic District which was established in 2001.
Neighborhood Park – Waddell Park
Waddell Park, a ravine-like oasis and green space, is located at the corner of Huron Street and Champlain Street and serves as a local meeting place and play area, featuring a small nature trail. Originally named “Closeburn Park”, but donated by the neighborhood in 1994 to the City of Decatur and renamed at that time for a local benefactor.
Atlanta Decatur Homes, a local Atlanta real estate company serving Decatur, Atlanta, Druid Hills, Emory University and Tucker neighborhoods for over 25 years!
Lions Gate, an Atlanta Townhome and Condominium complex, is located in Fulton County off Ponce de Leon Avenue on the edge of Druid Hills. Lions Gate is convenient to downtown Atlanta, the Carter Center and Emory University. Shopping is close by and the Airport is an easy drive.
This charming Williamsburg-style complex is enhanced by lush grounds and attractive landscaping. Units are priced from the $200's to mid $300,000's and are characterized by large rooms with dense moldings. Many of the units have been recently upgraded or totally renovated.
Lions Gate has the distinction of being located just across Ponce de Leon Avenue from Frederick Law Olmsted’s famous Linear Park.
Olmsted Linear Park
Driving East along Ponce de Leon Avenue from Atlanta towards Druid Hills and Decatur is an incredible experience and one of the most beautiful drives around Atlanta. The wide curving road passes by a line of parks and elegant homes, framed by graceful trees.
Frederick Law Olmsted was a well-known landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park and the Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina. He was hired by an Atlanta businessman in 1890 to develop the Druid Hills area.
Preliminary plans laying out the Linear Park were submitted by Olmsted in 1893, but the final project was completed long after his death. Olmsted’s vision for Ponce de Leon was a roadway to connect Atlanta to Druid Hills that was wide enough for riding and for carriages.
His vision never contemplated four busy lanes of traffic speeding by his beautiful parks, but the drive is still lovely and the parks have been attractively maintained by the Olmstead Linear Park Alliance, which was formed in 1997.
Atlanta Decatur Homes, a local Atlanta real estate company serving Atlanta, Decatur, Druid Hills, Emory University, and Tucker neighborhoods for over 25 years.