Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Mansions of Howard Street, Kirkwood, Atlanta

Howard Street starts here. You should find something you like on Howard Street.

Believe me. Kirkwood isn't on the way to anywhere that folks go these days unless you live nearby. It's a shame. One of string of neighborhoods north and south of the railroad between Atlanta and Decatur, it used to be independent city, one of the areas first streetcar suburbs. It's been around the block a few times.
"By 1910 streetcars provided express service to and from Atlanta three times daily, and street cars continued service along some streets including Kirkwood Road until the early 1950’s. " - Kirkwood Neighbors' Organization
Unless you are really trying, you'll never see wonderful Howard Street. Here is what you do. From Decatur, or Agnes Scott, from the East Lake Marta Station, wherever, head west on College Avenue until you see this beautiful building. That's Howard Street, turn left.

Let's ride.



This was until recently a funeral home. Perhaps a mansion before. You have to see this in person.




New? Probably an old one refurbished.

Something a bit different.

This one has the details...

Serious gingerbread on Howard Street.


On the come back.


Two superb churches, one brick

and one stone.

There is more to see in Kirkwood.

P.S. Thanks, double thanks and triple thanks to James at Limestone and Boxwoods for blogging today about one of my favorite houses in "Ride-by: A Charming Italian City House"


  1. Such a beautiful street. I love when old homes are refurbished to maintain the character and charm of the orginal...wonderful!!

  2. I could stare at those houses all day long. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the tour!

  3. I tried to buy a house in Howard a few years ago but someone beat me to it. It's a great street. I'm glad to see that one being refurbished, I love it and hope they don't strip away the character.

  4. Thanks for the tour! Very similar to some streets we have in Savannah. I love the Gingerbread Houses

  5. Oh I love this street! Nice work, Terry! I drive this street on my way back from YDFM.

    For folks who decide to venture over to Kirkwood, you can get a nice sandwich at Bon Marche or a nice glass of wine or beer at the Kirkwood Public House (formerly Vinocity).

  6. When I was in Decatur High School in the late 60's/70's that beautiful building on Howard was the closest liquor store where under age kids with fake IDs could buy beer. It looks a lot better now.

  7. The first commercial building was a general store with an ice factory behind it back in the early 1900s.

    "Let's Ride" is the oldest house in Kirkwood still standing 1872. The gardens surrounding the properties make it a great home.

    The former funeral home is known as the Kate Grene Hess House, now a private residence again. Ms. Hess was married to one of the first mayors of Kirkwood.

    "New?" is new built in 2007-08. Interestingly when they dug the foundations it match the origninal house, rounded porch and all.

    "serious gingerbread" was dressed up to more of a painted lady from its American Pyramid House orignial form.

    "On the come back" ride by after the new year it will be great.

  8. Joe, Thanks so much. I'm sure there are lots of stories on this street, old and new. I hope they are collected somewhere.

  9. My girlfriend lived on Howard for a few years, and I've walked her dog down that street more times than I can count. It is gorgeous - the former funeral home was featured in AJC Homefinder two or years or so ago. They have restored it fantastically on the inside, too. The backyard is the size of a park - it goes all the way to the other side of the block.

    I think my favorite is the white one with the dirt drive, though.

  10. The 'former funeral home' house was also, back in the 50s, the Eastern Star headquarters -women's auxiliary of the Masons. The Masons met in the stone bldg. on Boulevard Dr. (now Hosea Williams Dr.) I believe it's now a police station; but I remember going once to a father-son gathering there in the large ballroom upstairs when I was a young boy.


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