The planned community was initially conceived by Joel Hurt, and developed with the effort of Atlanta’s leading families, including Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler. It contains some of Atlanta’s historic mansions from the late 19th and early 20th century. Druid Hills includes the main campus of Emory University, which relocated to Atlanta in 1914.
Druid Hills was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and was one of his last commissions. A showpiece of the design was the string of parks along Ponce de Leon Avenue, which was designated as Druid Hills Parks and Parkways and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 1975. The remainder of the development was listed on the Register as the Druid Hills Historic District on October 25, 1979. Later the Park and Parkways district was consolidated into the Druid Hills Historic District.
The Druid Hills neighborhood is characterized by rolling hills, magnificent trees and shrubs and gorgeous, expansive houses. Its Ponce de Leon corridor bears the imprint of the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. The brainchild of Joel Hurt, the neighborhood was brought to fruition by some of Atlanta’s most prominent businessmen, including Asa Candler, founder of Coca-Cola. It was these movers and shakers of the city who lived in the neighborhood during the early decades of the twentieth century. In 1914, Druid Hills was permanently altered with the announcement that it would be the site of Emory University’s new main campus. Now the residents coexist with what has become an international university community. Historian Robert Hartle Jr. has written an honest, impeccably researched tribute to Druid Hills, truly one of the jewels in Atlanta’s crown