Decatur Historic District now listed in National Register of Historic Places

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 22, 2016

A historic district in the city of Decatur is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division, the city sponsored the nomination for the Decatur Heights-Glennwood Estates-Sycamore Street Historic District.

“The district is bounded, roughly, by Sycamore Street on the south, Decatur Cemetery on the west, Forkner Drive on the north, and Sycamore Drive on the east,” a press release from the Historic Preservation Division says.

The Historic Preservation Division provided these maps showing the boundaries of the district:

16000382_map decaturheights map

“The National Register provides formal recognition of a property’s architectural, historical, or archaeological significance,” the press release says. “It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes, and insures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects.”

Here is the full press release from the Historic Preservation Commission:

Decatur Heights-Glennwood Estates-Sycamore Street Historic District Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

ATLANTA (July 22, 2016) – The Decatur Heights-Glennwood Estates-Sycamore Street Historic District, located within the city limits of Decatur, Ga. (DeKalb County), has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The district is bounded, roughly, by Sycamore Street on the south, Decatur Cemetery on the west, Forkner Drive on the north, and Sycamore Drive on the east. This area, while platted at different times, contains subdivisions that are linked by their association to each other and by their contiguous historic resources. The nomination was sponsored by the City of Decatur.

The district is a relatively large, architecturally diverse, residential area northeast of downtown Decatur. It was developed in stages, based on expansion from the core of the city beginning in the 1870s, followed by a succession of various plats in the early decades of the 20th century. The plats were subdivisions of large tracts of farmland held by five or six owners. The general character of the district is single-family residential neighborhoods with mature trees, informal landscaping, and a mixture of rectilinear and curvilinear streets, some with stone retaining walls and concrete sidewalks.

There are distinct differences in layout and lot size, depending on the subdivision. The oldest and largest houses are along the southern boundary, on Sycamore Street, with a few good examples of late 19th century styles, such as Queen Anne. Most development in the district occurred after 1910, including good examples of Neoclassical Revival, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman styles. The English Vernacular Revival style is predominant in the Glennwood Estates section, where streets tend to curve around the hilly topography. There are a variety of house types throughout the district, with a concentration of American Small Houses in both the Decatur Heights and Glennwood Estates sections. Houses constructed after 1930 tend to be one story in height, relatively modest in size, and situated on smaller lots. The most common building material in the district is brick, sometimes used with stone foundations and accents. A few small apartment buildings were constructed in the district, mostly along the Ponce de Leon Avenue corridor.

The National Register of Historic Places is our country’s official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. The National Register provides formal recognition of a property’s architectural, historical, or archaeological significance. It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes, and insures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects. National Register listing encourages preservation of historic properties through public awareness, federal and state tax incentives, and grants. Listing in the National Register does not place obligations or restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property.

The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources serves as Georgia’s state historic preservation office. Its mission is to promote the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia.  HPD’s programs include archaeology protection and education, environmental review, grants, historic resource surveys, tax incentives, the National Register of Historic Places, community planning and technical assistance.

The mission of the Department of Natural Resources is to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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